Dr. Jill Biden joins Good Day Philadelphia to discuss election, return to schools

Former second lady Dr. Jill Biden joined Good Day Philadelphia on Thursday to discuss the upcoming presidential election and the nation's ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Biden, a veteran educator, believes virtual instruction can not replace the effectiveness of in-person learning but recognizes the need to ensure public health before broadly returning to classrooms. 

"I think this is really, really hard. It's hard for everybody. It's hard for the parents, the educators and the school kids," Dr. Biden said. "But we have to wait until it's safe, until the experts say to us, until the docs say to us, that it's safe to go back in the classroom because we don't want to get our kids sick," 

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Some schools around Philadelphia and the nation have returned to classrooms, creating confusion and debate about the sustainability and drawbacks of virtual learning. Dr. Biden explained her belief Thursday that the confusion stems from a lack of national leadership on the safe return to school. 

"If my husband were president right now we would have national guidance to help figure out "should we be back?" "should we not be back?" Dr. Biden said. "Then we would get guidance from the CDC whether to go into certain school districts and say 'yes, it's okay to go back because the numbers are so low,' but ultimately no parent wants to sacrifice their children's health." 

Former vice-president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his wife Former Second Lady of the United States doctor Jill Biden stand on stage at the end of the third day of the Democratic National Convention. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AF

Dr. Biden also pointed to the CDC's guidance on wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reiterated her husband's support of a national mask mandate. According to the Associated Press, the former Vice President has called for a national mask mandate as recently as last Sunday citing health experts’ predictions that it could save 40,000 lives over the next three months.

"Why can't all American's just try it? It's a small sacrifice for people's lives. We're now hitting over 200,000 deaths in this country. It could be stopped, it could be rolled back," Dr. Biden said.

The former second lady cast blame on President Donald Trump for letting the virus ravage the nation by not acting quickly enough. Despite enacting a travel ban to and from China in February, Dr. Biden claims the Trump administration did not listen and acted too slowly.

"[Trump] should have acted sooner, he wasn't acting responsibly as the President of the United States, and that's where Joe [Biden] would be totally responsible," Dr. Biden said.

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With news from the President on Wednesday that a potential coronavirus vaccine could be available as early as October, some controversy has arisen about the safety of an expedited antidote. Dr. Biden says the country must wait for the OK from doctors and experts, rather than a go-ahead from the president.

Dr. Jill Biden joined Good Day Philadelphia Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming election and ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"We have to wait and see what the doctors say and see how safe it is. Vaccines should not be a political issue, it's a health issue," Dr. Biden said. "I'm not going to take a vaccine because the president tells me to take it, I'm going to take because a doctor tells me 'yes, this is safe.'"

Joe Biden, whose mental acuity has been taken to task by the president on several occasions, is set to participate in the first presidential debate at the end of the month. Jill Biden called Trump's snares a "distraction" and assured that her husband is "top of his game." Joe Biden will continue campaigning Thursday night in Scranton.

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