Former vice president Joe Biden said Monday that he "wasn't surprised" that President Donald Trump has gotten the coronavirus and referenced how Trump defied basic medical guidance as the pandemic spread across the country and killed more than 210,000 Americans.
"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," Biden told MSNBC's Lester Holt during a Monday night town hall in Miami, his first primetime event after Trump announced he'd tested positive.
Biden was also asked if he was worried about contracting COVID-19 after learning that Trump was diagnosed on Friday morning — just days after they stood near each other on stage during the first presidential debate last Tuesday.
Biden said that he wasn't worried because he'd been "fastidious" about social distancing inside the debate venue and about wearing a mask in general when social distancing isn’t possible.
Biden said he worried about his wife, Jill, and his campaign's debate guests after seeing that a large number of the Trump campaign's debate guests weren't wearing masks.
"It was a little disconcerting to look out and see that his whole section, no one had masks on," Biden said, "while my wife was sitting further down and had a mask on and the people with us had masks on. I didn't quite get that."
Biden's answers come hours after Trump returned to the White House after being hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center for less than 72 hours. During his time in the hospital, the president's doctors dodged questions about his health multiple times.
Holt ended the segment by asking Biden if he believed the president bared responsibility for being infected with the coronavirus.
"Anybody who contracts the virus by essentially saying 'masks don't matter, social distancing doesn't matter' is responsible for what happens to them," Biden said.
Trump spent months downplaying the severity of the virus to Americans, hosting events where people largely went unmasked, ignoring his own CDC's guidelines, and making fun of Americans (including Biden) for wearing masks.