Biden suggests he was vice president during COVID-19 pandemic: 'Barack said to me, go to Detroit'

President Biden appeared to claim he was vice president during the coronavirus pandemic and that former President Barack Obama had dispatched him to Detroit to help with the response.

In comments first reported by the New York Post, Biden addressed an NAACP campaign event in Michigan Sunday night, where he repeatedly railed against his presumptive Republican opponent, former President Trump, while offering an aside about the contagion – which began in 2019 while the latter was in office.

“When I was vice president, things were kind of bad during the pandemic,” Biden said near the beginning of his remarks.

“And, what happened was Barack said to me: ‘Go to Detroit – help fix it.’”


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Going on to reference Detroit Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan, who was seated to Biden’s right, the president continued, “Well, the poor mayor – he’s spent more time with me than he ever thought he’s going to have to.”

Duggan then rose and shook Biden’s hand.

The pandemic, numbered COVID-19 due to global health officials having deemed it an outbreak in 2019, transpired in the latter years of Trump’s term, not Obama’s. Biden succeeded Trump during the denouement of the pandemic.

Elsewhere in the speech, Biden referenced working with civil rights activists in his youth, and quipped that Detroit helped “put food on” his family’s table, as his father, Joseph Biden Sr., was in the automobile business.


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Reserving much of his remarks to criticize Trump, Biden claimed at one juncture that “MAGA Republicans” want to engage in book-banning and other endeavors he described as extremist.

“All that progress is at risk. Trump is trying to make the country forget just how dark things were… when he was president,” Biden said.

“We will never forget him lying about how serious the pandemic was, telling Americans ‘just inject bleach’ – I think that’s what he did. I think that’s why he’s so screwy.”

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In another jab, Biden warned against his predecessor potentially nominating more justices to the Supreme Court: “Do you think he’ll put anybody [there] who has a brain?”

“It’s clear when he lost in 2020, and I mean this sincerely: something snapped in Trump. He just can’t accept he lost… That’s why Jan. 6 happened.”

A mid-April Fox News Poll in Michigan found 46% of registered voters there support Biden, while 49% support Trump. Trump gained two percentage points in that survey over a similar one conducted in February. Two years prior, Biden led Trump by eight percentage points in the Great Lakes State.

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House for comment but did not receive a response by press time.

Charles Creitz is a reporter for Fox News Digital. 

He joined Fox News in 2013 as a writer and production assistant. 

Charles covers media, politics and culture for Fox News Digital.

Charles is a Pennsylvania native and graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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