The former vice president sat down virtually with Stephen Colbert for a lengthy interview on Thursday night's "The Late Show," criticizing the president for his response to the ongoing crisis, and even getting emotional at points talking about grief for those who have died from COVID-19.
Biden, who Colbert said is his final guest from the late night show's at-home telecast, showed off his mask at the start of the interview, joking that wife Dr. Jill Biden sometimes wants him to put the mask on "so she doesn't hear me speak."
When Colbert asked if Biden is "going to beat this guy," the answer was a resounding "yes."
"The American people fully understand what’s at stake here," Biden said. "This is the most important election in anybody’s life, not because I’m running, but because of the circumstances."
Biden said Trump is "willing to anything" to help the country rebound economically from the pandemic "without paying nearly enough attention to what everyone from Dr. Fauci to scientists all over the country have said … that we really have to worry about whether there's going to be a considerable rebound of this disease."
He criticized the time it took for Trump to get personal protective equipment to those who need it, as well as what he views to be a lack of available COVID-19 testing for people across the country.
"Why don’t you start to tell the American people the truth? They’re tough. They can handle it," Biden said. "And tell them what’s going to happen and tell them how you’re going to get these things done. He’s done none of that."
"While we all know we're in a crisis, not just nationally but globally, not enough attention is being paid to the necessity for grief right now. For the grief for the loss of close to 100,000 people so far. There hasn't been a public expression from the top of that grief, which helps guide the country's soul in times of crisis like this," Colbert said nearing the end of the interview. "What can you say to those people who are worried about the future, and have no outlet right now nationally and collectively for their grief?"
"If I were president of the United States, I would be lowering the flag to half mast in the White House," Biden said. "So many families, every one of those 90,000 have lost someone, left behind a family, left behind somebody with a broken heart."
Biden, whose son Beau died in 2015 after a battle with brain cancer, described losing a loved one as a "big black hole you seem to get sucked into."
"You’ve got to remember, over time, that they’re still part of you, they’re your heart, they’re your soul. It’s who you are, it’s this connection that is real, and the only way I know for me how to get through it is to find purpose," Biden said."
"What would the person you lost – what would they want you to be doing?" Biden said. "What can you do to make it better?"
The former vice president got visibly emotional as he remember a promise he made to his son before his death.
"My Beau, my son, before he died he made me make a promise," Biden said, choking up. "He said 'Dad, I know no one in the world loves me more than you do. But, Dad, I promise you, I’m going to be OK. But, Dad, promise me you’re going to be OK.' "
Biden continued: "He was worried I would withdraw. I would go inside, because mourning in public is a lot different than being able to mourn in private. And he made me promise to stay engaged. … Every morning I get up, I ask myself, is he proud of me? Am I meeting the requirement that I promised him I would do?"
Colbert ended the interview with a final question: "Are we going to be alright?"
"Yes, we are," Biden said. "I promise you, we will get through this and we’re going to come out stronger."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Joe Biden tears up talking grief with Stephen Colbert