(Reuters) – Aides to Joe Biden, the likely Democratic nominee to run against President Donald Trump, will arrange a call for the rivals to discuss the country’s response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the campaign for the former vice president said on Wednesday.
Biden has been critical of Trump’s response to the coronavirus, saying he had been too slow to marshal federal resources to get equipment and funds to governors responding to the highly contagious respiratory disease.
“Our teams will be in touch and we will arrange a call,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said in a statement.
The original overture by Biden to talk with Trump was first reported by Fox News.
During his daily press briefing on the virus, Trump said he would be happy to talk to Biden.
“Oh absolutely, I’d love to speak to him,” the Republican president said. “I always found him to be a nice guy.”
Biden and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who remains in the race for the Democratic nomination but has an increasingly narrow path to victory over Biden, have been holding their own regular coronavirus briefings and town hall meetings about the pandemic. They are seeking to face Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by Peter Cooney