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Biden Announces Readiness To Shut Down US Again If Scientists Advise It

Although the United States remains the hardest hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic in the world — with 6,495,813 cases and 193,699 deaths connected to the coronavirus at the time of this writing according to Worldometers — and sees thousands of new cases every day, it seems that President Donald Trump has seldom seen eye-to-eye with health officials since the crisis has emerged.

As the BBC reported, we've often seen this disagreement take the form of clashes in messaging with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. One particular example saw Trump retweet a video that claimed that masks and lockdowns were unnecessary while also touting hydroxychloroquine as an effective COVID-19 treatment.

Fauci has since responded that neither of these claims are productive or backed by the best available medical research.

It's likely in the wake of such messaging clashes that Biden is now asserting that he will remain open to the advice of health officials if he is elected.

On August 23, Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sat down with ABC News for an exclusive interview.

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During this interview, ABC's David Muir asked Biden if he would be prepared to shut the country down if a second wave of the coronavirus coincides with a flu outbreak in winter as scientists are now predicting.

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To this, Biden replied, "I would be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus."

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He added, "That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking to begin with."

This line of thought leads him to conclude, "I would shut it down. I would listen to the scientists."

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This response runs as a complete opposite statement to how President Trump addressed the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 back in May.

As he said in the short clip we can see here, nothing about a second wave would lead him to "close the country."

He instead saw his administration's coronavirus response as "putting out fires" wherever an outbreak becomes apparent rather than adopting nationwide measures to slow its spread.

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We can also see a difference between how the two men treat the COVID-19 pandmeic in their attitudes towards masks.

As HuffPost reported, Trump's messaging on mask use has proven inconsistent while Biden can often be seen wearing them when he steps out in public.

As CNN reported, this drew mockery from Trump, who said Biden wears one because it gives him a feeling of security and further stated, "If I was a psychiatrist, I'd say this guy has some big issues."

To this, Biden said, "It's hard to respond to something so idiotic. I'm a smart fella. I listen to scientists. This is not a game."

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During the interview, Muir also addressed comments Trump has made about Harris in which he called her "nasty," a "madwoman," and "the most disrespectful of anybody in the U.S. Senate."

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She saw this as fairly typical of Trump's campaign strategy, saying, "There is so much about what comes out of Donald Trump's mouth that is designed to distract the American people from what he is doing every day that is about neglect, negligence and harm to the American people."

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