As President Trump returned to the White House on Monday night following his stay at Walter Reed for coronavirus treatment, Joe Biden was preparing for a televised town hall. During the town hall, the Democratic presidential nominee said he wasn't surprised that the president contracted COVID-19.
"Quite frankly, I wasn't surprised," Biden told NBC News' Lester Holt.
"The idea that COVID does not spread in proximity when you don't have a mask on, when you're not socially distancing, when there's large groups of people, when you're inside particularly but even when you're outside, that's not surprising," the former vice president said.
When Mr. Trump returned to the White House, he took off his mask to pose for photographers. When asked about this, Biden said he would hope, given what the president has gone through with his illness, that he'd communicate to the American people that "masks matter."
"It matters. It saves lives. It prevents the spread of the disease," Biden said.
He also mentioned a tweet from the president in which Mr. Trump "essentially" said "don't be so concerned about all this." Biden appeared to be referring to a tweet in which the president said, "Don't be afraid of Covid."
"There's a lot to be concerned about," Biden said. "210,000 people have died. You have, you know, about 1,000 people a day getting the coronavirus. ... So, it's a great concern."
"It's a serious problem," he said.
Biden said he "inquired" about whether he should call Mr. Trump following his diagnosis, but said the decision was that it would "probably be intrusive."
"But I am truly happy that if he appears to be – if things are really moving along, like [Trump] said — and particularly the first lady as well, I'm very happy for that," Biden said.