EXTENDED CONVERSATION: Joe Biden sits down with Eyewitness News

Former Vice President and current presidential nominee Joe Biden sat down for an exclusive interview with Channel 9 anchor Greg Warmoth to discuss everything from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it’s impacting Central Florida, to his prospective running mates.

Here’s what he said:

On his virtual rally

“We’re gonna talk about what’s at stake in this election and talk about why I think we cannot handle four more years of Donald Trump.”

On restoring America

“I said when I announced we’ve got to restore the soul of America and we’re beginning to see the soul of America with people stepping up and doing favors and great sacrifices for fellow citizens.”

On reuniting the country

“We have to reunite the country. We’re going to be talking about that a little bit tonight.”

On communicating virtually

“So far they tell me, I guess it’s the last three or four weeks, Over 75 million people have watched on the vehicles that we’re using -- whether it’s direct interviews with folks like you, or doing virtual town meetings and the like. So the message seems to be getting out. But I’d much rather be out there and look people in the eye.”

On unemployment issues in Florida

“We have to make the unemployment system function, and your state isn’t very functional, in terms of -- you have over 74% of the people that have filed for unemployment that are entitled to it have not been able to get it yet. And it relates to management of the system.”

Why Orlando could be hit hard by pending COVID-19 recession

On small businesses

“We should be doing a much better job in making sure that a lot of this money for small businesses actually gets to small businesses.”

On who should get stimulus and small business funding relief

“The last people that need it are the multi-million dollar corporations the billion dollar corporations. So it’s about management. It’s about getting the money out. It’s about getting it to the people who need it.”

On social security

“I’m going to increase the social security payment, that was a misleading ad that my opponent put out. The fact is I support and have for a long time increasing social security payments. And the way we do that and make it solvent is we make sure that people making over $400,000 a year pay the same percentage into the social security fund that they have to pay when they’re making under $125,000. There’s a lot of people on the social security system that need help now immediately, now."

Why claiming unemployment in Florida could get harder

On testing and safety of people returning to work

“You have to take a look at what the circumstances are. You have to have testing. You have to have PPP, the equipment needed for people who are going to get sick and you have to be in a position to deal with if there’s a flare up.”

On testing in Florida

“Testing in Florida, less than 2% of the people have been tested. The capacity to test more doesn’t exist. I’m not blaming the governor, I’m blaming that on the national government.”

On when to return to work

“We also have to be in a position where there are very clear guidelines on when people go back to work and go back to normal social intercourse.”

On Trump’s handling of the pandemic

“Where in a situation now where you have 33 million people filed for unemployment and 75,000 people have died as a consequence of this virus. Tragically this is the cost of complacency. Trump had months to act and he didn’t for the first three months to stem this crisis and he still hasn’t.”

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On Affordable Care Act cuts and Attorney General Ashley Moody

“I think it’s outrageous. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and Trump is now out there trying to take away the Trump administration is trying to take healthcare away from people who in fact have it now. We should be opening the filing period to get back into the affordable care act.”

On Ashley Moody and ACA fight

Attorney General Moody should stop and drop support of this lawsuit right now. People need help now. In addition we should be guaranteeing that anyone who in fact contracts this disease and any costs related to it should be paid for by the federal government should be free."

On Val Demings

“She is one a group of close to a dozen really qualified and talented women who are on the list…We’re just beginning the process. We’ve announced the people who are going to be doing organizing the background check. It’s going to take 6ix to eight weeks to get that moving. She’s a very competent, very capable person.”

On Georgia shooting

“Well it sure looks like murder to me. At a minimum it needs a thorough investigation. There should be a thorough complete investigation. Black mothers shouldn’t have to worry when their sons go out to walk down the street or jog down the street that this could happen.”

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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