An interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Tuesday turned out to be as informative for former Vice President Joe Biden as it was for voters. Biden was talking about the coronavirus pandemic when he paused to cough into his hand. Tapper interrupted the politician, showing him the correct way to cover a cough with his elbow.
Biden has caught a lot of flack for his behavior during the COVID-19 outbreak, including his prolonged absence from the public eye. He returned to the campaign trail this week, but with mixed results, as his coughing did not inspire confidence in some voters. Nor did his observance of hygiene practices, as Biden coughed into his hand on live TV on Tuesday afternoon.
Biden was just explaining to Tapper that he had no symptoms and had not been tested for COVID-19 when the cough came on. He explained some of the precautions he was taking anyway, however, and described some of the advice he had gotten from his doctor. He then made a fist with his right hand and coughed into it hastily.
"You know, you're supposed to cough into your elbow. I don't know [if you know], sir," Tapper said to the former vice president. He then lifted his elbow to demonstrate the technique. "I learned that, actually, covering your White House."
Biden tried to play the moment off, saying that Tapper was correct, but that he was safe because he was calling in from home.
"Actually, that's true, but fortunately I'm alone in my home but that's OK," Biden said. "I agree. You're right."
"It's kind of old school to do it with your hands. Do it into your elbow is how you're supposed to do it," Tapper laughed.
His coughing habits aside, Biden does have some strong thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic that he has been sharing with his followers on social media. On Tuesday, he criticized President Donald Trump for his response to the pandemic, and for his commentary about "re-opening" the economy before medical experts say it is safe.
"President Trump says no one saw this coming, but that's just not true. Our own intelligence officials were warning of the coronavirus threat back in January. Trump ignored them, and now we're paying the price," Biden tweeted. "Let me be very clear: No one is expendable. No matter your age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow."
Still, Biden himself has been criticized for his rhetoric on the coronavirus as well, and for shying away from the public eye earlier this month. Biden was not seen anywhere from March 17 to March 23, and has just recently re-emerged with new press engagements and online town hall meetings.
For the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC's website.