Joe Biden has claimed that Donald Trump was America’s “first” racist president.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s comments on Thursday were made during a virtual town hall organised by the Service Employees International Union.
When a questioner claimed racism had engulfed the coronavirus outbreak and mentioned the President referring to it as the “China virus”, the former vice-president responded by blasting Mr Trump and “his spread of racism”.
The way he deals with people based on the colour of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” Mr Biden said.
“No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this.
No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed. They’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”
Mr Biden also said that Mr Trump was using race “as a wedge” to distract from his handling of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump responded to a question about Mr Biden’s comments by pointing to his administration’s efforts
“I’ve done more for Black Americans than anybody with the possible of exception of Abraham Lincoln,” he said. “Nobody has even been close.”
Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser for Mr Trump’s re-election campaign, said that
“no one should take lectures on racial justice from Joe Biden”.
Mr Biden has vowed that, if elected, he will begin addressing institutional racism within his first 100 days of taking office. This was not the first time he’s suggested Mr Trump’s actions were racist.