June 30, 2020 | 3:14pm | Updated June 30, 2020 | 4:02pm
Joe Biden upbraided President Trump for his response to the coronavirus pandemic during a stump speech on Tuesday where he took questions from reporters for the first time since March — and called one of them a “lying dog face.”
Appearing before a giant American flag at a school in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, the former veep accused Trump of squandering the three months since the virus first arrived on US shores and said the country was no better prepared than in March.
“It’s almost July and it seems our wartime president has surrendered, waved the white flag and abandoned the battlefield,” said Biden, 77.
“We don’t need a cheerleader, Mr. President. We need a president, Mr. President,” he added.
The presumptive Democratic nominee outlined his plans for dealing with the pandemic as the nation experiences a troubling surge of new infections, including doubling the number of testing sites and fixing ongoing shortages in protective gear.
Biden, who has been stuck at his Wilmington home during the pandemic, also took questions from reporters for the first time in months after the Trump campaign accused him of hiding.
But the gaffe-prone former lawmaker lashed out when one reporter mentioned his own mental deterioration at age 65 and asked Biden if he had been tested for cognitive decline.
“You’re a lying dog face,” Biden said, apparently irritated that the reporter kept asking questions as he tried to leave the event, before adding that he was “constantly tested.”
“All you gotta do is watch me and I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against,” he said.
The former veep infamously called a college student a “lying dog-faced pony soldier” at a campaign event in New Hampshire in February, an experience she described as “humiliating.”
Biden also attacked Trump’s own cognitive abilities — a line of attack usually deployed by the Trump campaign against him — when quizzed on reports the president was briefed but failed to act on intelligence that Russia had paid Taliban militants to kill US troops, a claim the White House has denied.
“He talks about cognitive capability. He doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on. He either reads and/or gets briefed on important issues and he forgets it or he doesn’t think it’s necessary that he needs to know it,” Biden said.
The former veep also flip-flopped on the movement to tear down Confederate statues across the US and described slave owners as people who did things that were “now and then distasteful.”