NBC's Chuck Todd Asks Joe Biden If There's 'Blood' On Trump's Hands Due to Coronavirus Response

NBC News host Chuck Todd asked Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden if President Donald Trump has "blood" on his hands due to his management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Todd posed the question to Biden during his Sunday show Meet the Press, as they discussed the coronavirus and the president's response. The journalist noted that the former vice president's presidential campaign had previously warned that Trump could "cost lives" if he didn't take specific steps to address the crisis.

"Do you think there's already–do you think there is blood on the president's hands considering the slow response?" Todd asked. "Or is that too harsh of a criticism?"

Biden responded saying: "I think that's a little too harsh."

TODAY on #MTP: Former VP @JoeBiden says Trump should "listen to the health experts ... the economists."

Biden: "He should be focusing on making sure we are in a situation where we are able to see to it that unemployment benefits can get to people." pic.twitter.com/5q2cWzUKFD

— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020

"The president just thinks out loud. He should stop thinking out loud and start thinking deeply," the Democratic presidential hopeful said. "He should start listening to the scientists before he speaks. He should listen to the health experts. He should listen to his economists."

Some conservatives were quick to criticize Todd's question, arguing that the question was "absurd" and "infuriating."

"Infuriating, Rage-inducing media gaslighting," Benny Johnson, the chief creative officer of the right-wing group Turning Points USA, tweeted, sharing a clip of the interview.

Infuriating, Rage-inducing media gaslighting:

Chuck Todd asks if Trump has “blood” on his hands for “slow Coronavirus response”

In Jan. Trump was banning China travel, creating China Virus task force, media was calling him racist & frothing Impeachment

— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 29, 2020

"You know a question is absolutely absurd when someone running for president has to say 'you know what, slow down there,'" Ben Williamson, chief of staff and communications director for GOP Representative Mark Meadows, posted.

You know a question is absolutely absurd when someone running for president has to say “you know what, slow down there” https://t.co/zitUHcRgQw

— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) March 29, 2020

"NBC's Chuck Todd is COMPLETELY UNHINGED this morning," the Republican National Committee's rapid response coordinator Steve Guest tweeted.

NBC's Chuck Todd is COMPLETELY UNHINGED this morning.

Chuck Todd: "Do you think there is blood on the President's hands?"

Joe Biden: "I think that's a little too harsh."

When Chuck Todd's attacks on @realDonaldTrump are too much for even Biden, you got a problem. pic.twitter.com/nzm82f8Ghf

— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 29, 2020

Todd has drawn criticism previously. In February, the hashtag #FireChuckTodd trended after the NBC host read an excerpt from an article that compared Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders' supporters to the Nazi party's paramilitary fighters. Many found the comparison particularly offensive as Sanders' is Jewish, and had family members killed in the Holocaust.

But Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also suggested on Sunday that Trump's management of the pandemic had led to unnecessary deaths.

"His denial at the beginning was deadly. His delay of getting equipment to where–it continues his delay in getting equipment to where it's needed, is deadly," the representative from California said during an interview with CNN's State of the Union.

In a statement emailed to Newsweek, White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley criticized Pelosi's remark. "America is coming together in the face of this crisis like never before, and it's disgraceful that instead of praising the American spirit, Speaker Pelosi seeks to stoke hatred and fear for political gain," he said.

Chuck Todd and Joe Biden
Screenshot of NBC News host Chuck Todd interviewing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on "Meet the Press" on March 29 NBC News/Meet the Press

The U.S. now has far more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country in the world. At the time of writing, there are more than 135,000 confirmed cases of the novel virus in the U.S., according to a tracker updated by John Hopkins University. More than 2,300 have died nationwide, while over 2,600 have recovered.

Trump took early precautionary action to prevent the spread of the virus by blocking foreign travelers who had recently visited China from entering the U.S. However, the government was then slow to roll out widespread testing, making it difficult to track the coronavirus' spread and to isolate those infected. The president also repeatedly called the concern raised by lawmakers and health experts a "new hoax" by the Democrats, while downplaying the threat of the virus by comparing it to the common flu, which is believed to be at least 10 times less deadly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is on Trump's coronavirus taskforce and serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, presented a dire assessment of how the virus will spread moving forward.

"We're going to have millions of cases," Fauci warned. The health expert projected that the country could see some 100,000 to 200,000 deaths based on the data he has reviewed.