Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on Wednesday called President Trump the country’s first racist to be elected to the White House.The former vice president’s blunt assessment came during a virtual town hall organized by the Service Employees International Union after a health-care worker expressed concern that Trump continues to blame Asians for the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden signaled that he shared the questioner’s concern that Trump frequently refers to the pandemic as the “China virus,” saying, “the way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening.”
“No sitting president has ever done this,” Biden said. “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.”
“And the way he pits people against one another is all designed to divide the country, divide people, not pull them together,” Biden continued. “Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. … He’s using it as a wedge.”
Though Biden calls Trump the first racist to be president, history shows the United States has had leaders in the past who either were openly racists, such as enslavers, or expressed racist views or used racist language.