At Monday’s daily coronavirus briefing, Donald Trump shared that he has spoken to former vice president Joe Biden by phone about the current COVID-19 crisis. Though both parties agreed to keep the details of the phone call private, Trump described the discussion as “wonderful” and “warm.”
In recent weeks, Biden has openly criticized the impeached president for a lag in testing, the administration’s inability to deliver medical supplies and PPEs in a timely manner, and Trump’s nonchalant attitude toward the virus in the early stages of the outbreak. Still, it appears that the men were able to put differences aside for roughly 15 minutes, for the sake of the American people.
In a statement, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said, “Vice President Biden and President Trump had a good call. VP Biden shared several suggestions for actions the administration can take now to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic—and expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation.”
The conversation between the two men, who are often quite critical of one another, comes days after Biden offered to have a phone call with the impeached president to offer advice about his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. That proposal came on the heels of senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s rebuke of the 2020 hopeful’s criticism toward the president. “I think it’s really disappointing to have President Obama’s number two, who apparently doesn’t talk much to him, out there criticizing, instead of saying ‘Hey, here is what we did that we thought was effective.’”
A phone call between the rivals shows a level of goodwill, but plans to implement any of the recommendations discussed are still to be determined. When asked by a reporter about the suggestions made on the call, Trump answered by saying, “He had suggestions—doesn’t mean I agree with those suggestions.”