Joe Biden speaks one-on-one with Sarah Krueger during campaign stop in Durham
During a campaign stop in Durham on Sunday, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke with WRAL Durham reporter Sarah Krueger about issues impacting not only the United States, but in the Triangle.
All right. So, Mr Vice President, you have been critical of President Trump's handling of the pandemic and what you see as a lack of a plan. If you are elected, what steps will you immediately take? Well, I laid out back in March and then again in July exactly what I would do. Number one. I would ramp up testing to be able to make sure we were able to get same day test to people. And we should be working on something and investing in, like, pregnancy test. You can take it home and you can find out immediately. Same thing has to happen. I'd be investing and had been arguing that for some time number one and then tracing being able to trace whatever when you find a case has broken out trace who, in fact, they were in contact with. Thirdly, I'd make sure we provided the PPE, the protective equipment for all the folks who in fact, are in the front lines and those people who are trying to open their businesses and schools. Fourthly, I'd make sure we're in a situation where we start just listening to the science wearing a mask, wearing a mask. It is indicated that we could save 100,000 lives between now and the end of the year if we just wore masks, and that's that's been the consensus among the experts. And I'd also make sure we're in a situation where we are able to see to it that once somebody has needs treatment, that it's free. And lastly, the vaccine. I would take the politics out of getting to a vaccine, not mislead the American people. American people take the truth. The only thing they can't take is being told a lie. And they know we haven't turned the corner on this covert. But we can open businesses. We can open schools, we provide the income needed by them the financial aid they need for all the equipment they need to open. And here in Durham, we have seen a significant increase in violent crime this year, and there's a divide in local government about how is best to handle that. I'm wondering if elected president do you think that you could play a role in helping to reduce violent crime rates here in Durham and elsewhere? Well, I think across the board when we were in the White House. Violent crime was reduced by 15% 15% nationally. When we were there and the reason we we brought together police officers. We grew up together civil rights groups. We brought together civil rights organizations, and we had them sit down on the table. There's bad cops. The way you do with bad cops is you root them out because good cops don't like him any more than than anyone else does not. Number one. Number two. You can protest, but there's no such thing as a peaceful, a rowdy protests. You can't be breaking windows and burning down buildings and businesses, and that's not They should be arrested. They should be. There's just no excuse for de funding police, but there should also be basic standards that were laid out. I will set up a national commission the day I get elected in the White House, where we convene all the all the parties and begin to figure out how we move from here because we can do both. We've done it before, and you have served in public office for decades. Some people view that as a positive. Some people view it as a negative. What do you think are the greatest advantages and dangers to serving that length of time? I think the greatest advantages with what time comes. Wisdom, hopefully, and it demonstrates you've learned as you moved along. You know your way around and you know what's happening. And I think, But just because you've served long, bad experience is still bad experience. Good experience is, is a good marker. I'm very proud of the record I've had throughout my career, and I've been mostly proud of the fact I've been able to get people bring people together. Democrats and Republicans The passed major legislation, from the Violence Against Women act to the Recovery Act, a whole range of things that where everybody can agree. And I'm convinced. I know a lot of you understandably cynical about this. I don't mean you particularly, but people are cynical. I'm convinced we can reach agreement on big issues like infrastructure like jobs like healthcare. I'm convinced we can do it. The public has moved well beyond where both parties have been up till now, and I think we could get a lot. And here in Durham, there are issues with conditions in public housing. What measures will you ask HUD toe undertake to allow for improved quality of life for the residents and more accountability of the local housing authorities? When I ran to Recovery Act in our last administration $800 billion we provided money for housing to be deal with terrible conditions in housing units We have. I have a program where $20 billion would be set aside for riel, $20 billion set aside to repair the God awful situations. A lot of people living in where there's rats in the basement or run around that where the heating system doesn't work where the cooling system doesn't work. Where the ventilation is not correct, we should go in immediately and take care of. And then I spend another overtime, another $80 billion on upgrading housing across the country and upgrading housing and providing Mawr unit. So no one ever has to pay more than 30% of their income to be able to live in a housing circumstance. But beyond that, I know there's more. I'm giving you more than you want to know. But that takes care of that that I would deal with immediate issues of the public housing issues through the federally subsidized housing issues. But I also provide for a $15 million grant for first time home buyers who have a great deal of trouble because of the nature of the economy the last 10 years in terms of what they graduated into out of school, high school and college and the lack of jobs that were available. And what we do is we provide first term Homebuyers with an opportunity to have a down payment of $15,000 to qualify to buy a new home. Great. Well, I think my time is up. But thank you so much. Thank you. I appreciate it.