Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden is planning to conduct regular "shadow briefings" on coronavirus beginning as early as Monday.
According to Politico, Biden will hold the briefings "to show how he would handle the crisis and address what he calls the lies and failures of President Trump."
Biden gave a preview of what's to come in a conference call with reporters Friday, where he listed a litany of false and misleading statements from Trump, who has been holding regular White House press conferences concerning coronavirus preparedness and response that have been broadcast live on all major networks.
"President Trump stop saying false things, will ya?" Biden said. "People are worried they are really frightened, when these things don't come through. He just exacerbates their concern. Stop saying false things you think make you sound like a hero and start putting the full weight of the federal government behind finding fast, safe and effective treatments."
In response, the former vice president was excoriated for seemingly attempting to politicize a crucial part of the government's COVID-19 response.
"Completely unhelpful and destined only to sow division. He isn't privy to any of the information the government has, he doesn't have to actually be accountable for anything he says he 'would' hypothetically do. This is just heckling from the sidelines in a time of true crisis," writer James Hasson said.
"Remember the condemnation @MittRomney faced for speaking about the terrorist attack in Benghazi before Obama, who was taking his time, did? 'We have one President at a time,' they cried. @JoeBiden shouldn't do this, it's a nakedly political idea and pretty sick," radio host Derek Hunter responded.
"Wut? Is Biden trying to thrust the confusion torturing his own mind upon the rest of us during crisis? I trust @realDonaldTrump, @VP & the health pros. I don't trust Biden to know what state he is in. Biden should shelter in place, stay safe, and listen to his President," Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) responded.
"This is the dumbest tone deaf waste of resources possible. Joe Biden is gonna basically do a play and pretend that he's the President. What a joke," Robby Starbuck said.
"Really? Which health experts from the CDC will be appearing with him?" conservative commentator Stephen Miller said.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign said the briefings would be "aimed at undermining the public health officials in charge of the coronavirus response efforts."
"Biden's politicization of the coronavirus outbreak is shameful," the campaign said. "In his rush to politicize the pandemic, Biden is recklessly spreading false information and sowing fear."