TV interview: Joe Biden declares the pandemic over and threatens China – even close advisors are amazed

The interview show "60 Minutes" on CBS is a respected format on US television.

TV interview: Joe Biden declares the pandemic over and threatens China – even close advisors are amazed

The interview show "60 Minutes" on CBS is a respected format on US television. For around an hour, key politicians have the opportunity to comment in comparative detail on the issues of the day - and the program often produces news.

Joe Biden succeeded in doing just about every question host Scott Pelley asked him in last Sunday's edition. Many a very clear statement by the US President about the crises in the world surprised even the closest advisers - and caused concern for political observers. These are Biden's five most important statements from the interview - and the reactions to them.

Question: "While Ukraine is thriving on the battlefield, Vladimir Putin is being embarrassed and cornered. I wonder, Mister President, what would you say to him if he were considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons?" Biden: "Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it. You're going to change the face of war in a way that hasn't been seen since World War II." consequences could look like, the US President didn't want to answer specifically: "Do you think I would tell you if I knew exactly what would happen? Of course I wouldn't tell you. It will be momentous. You would become more of a outcasts in the world than they ever were."

Biden's statement has raised questions among political observers as to whether the US President has responded to intelligence information that tactical nuclear weapons could be used in light of the recent successful counter-offensive by the Ukrainian army. So far, however, nothing has been known about more concrete indications of such an operation. Last month, the United Nations warned that humanity was "just one misjudgment away from nuclear annihilation." A statement from the Kremlin in March that Russia would only use nuclear weapons in the event of an "existential threat" to the country, but not because of the war in Ukraine, has not yet been contradicted. However, since then, the war has developed to Russia's detriment.

Question: "But would US forces defend the island [Taiwan, ed.]?" Biden: "Yes, if there were indeed an unprecedented attack."Question: "Unlike Ukraine, to be clear, Sir, would US forces, US men and women, defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?" Biden: "Yes."

The White House did not confirm the president's testimony. In fact, US policy on the Taiwan issue has not changed. Officially, contrary to what Biden said on 60 Minutes, the US maintained a "strategic ambiguity" about whether US forces would actually defend Taiwan, CBS reported. There is only an obligation to equip Taiwan for self-defense. Earlier this month, the US State Department announced it would sell $1.1 billion in military equipment to the island's democracy.

Biden's statement was noted with concern in security circles and among political observers, as it contained the threat of a direct military confrontation between the great powers USA and China. In Beijing, the statement was accordingly received with annoyance. Internationally, there are fears that in the shadow of the Ukraine war, China's head of state Xi Jinping could use force to push through the goal of (peaceful) "reunification" with Taiwan that he announced a year ago. A visit to the island democracy by the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, number 3 in the US state, added fuel to the fire in the summer. China announced that it will have a permanent presence in the Taiwan Strait from now on. "We [...] will continue to responsibly [...] keep our lines of communication with Beijing open [...]," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Vedant Patel at the beginning of September.

Biden: "The pandemic is over. We're still having issues with Covid. We're still working on it a lot...but the pandemic is over. As you note, no one is wearing masks. Everyone seems to be in pretty good shape. And so think I know that things are changing." The US President added that the pandemic had a major impact on the psyche of Americans. Corona has changed the attitudes of many people towards themselves, their families, the state of the nation and their communities. All of this is having an effect – especially since there have been more than a million Covid deaths in the USA.

The firm statement surprised several health officials on the President's staff. It was not planned in this form, two administration officials revealed to the US portal "Politico". In addition, there were still two million corona cases in the country last month, and hundreds of those affected die from or with the infection every day. This is shown by the figures from Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization recently announced that the end of the pandemic was in sight, but only if the states on the home straight did not let up in their fight against the virus. In addition, Biden thwarts statements by his own advisor, the immunologist Anthony Fauci, who fears that vaccination fatigue and rejection due to Covid will cause other viral diseases to spread more widely in the USA.

Question: "Have you been briefed, sir, on the top-secret documents found at Mar-a-Lago [residence of ex-President Donald Trump]? Biden: "No."Question: " Have you been briefed on the FBI's execution of a search warrant in Mar-a-Lago?" Biden: "No. Not before." In "60 Minutes" Joe Biden commented publicly and extensively for the first time on the FBI raid on Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. There were some secret documents, some of which are said to be relevant to state security "By law, the documents should have been handed over to the state archives at the end of the term. "How could that happen?" Biden replied when asked what he thought when he saw the photos of classified documents on the floor. "How can you be so irresponsible?" He also wondered which people, sources and processes had been endangered by Trump. "It's just completely irresponsible."

Trump and his supporters, on the other hand, have repeatedly described the raid as a government attack on the ex-president. The goal is to deter Trump from running again, they claim. If the 76-year-old were indicted, running for another term in the White House would no longer be an option. In the meantime, at Trump's instigation, a neutral special expert has been appointed to categorize the confiscated documents - also in order to separate personal from official documents. The former president faces charges of violating the espionage law, which observers believe is quite likely. Nevertheless, it is also being discussed whether charges should be avoided in this case because of the social consequences to be expected. Much more serious allegations are being made against Trump - above all an attempted coup in connection with the storming of the Capitol in January 2021. If the first charges against an ex-president are ever brought, there is a risk of "riots on the streets", as the conservative senator says of South Carolina, Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham, said on Fox TV.

Question: "Sir, are you determined to run again, or do the terms have to be right?" Biden: "Look, if I told you I was running again, a number of things suddenly come into play [...]. In terms of electoral laws, it's far too early to make such a decision [...] What I'm doing is doing my job, and within a time frame that makes sense after this next election cycle, by next year , I make the decision about what to do."Question: "I take it you didn't make the decision for yourself either?"Biden: "Look, my intention, as I said at the beginning, is that I will run again. But that's just an intention. Is there a firm decision that I will run again? That remains to be seen."

The question of whether or not Biden will run again is a difficulty for the Democrats. Doubts about his vitality and sanity have accompanied the oldest US president in history since he took office, fueled by occasional uncertainties in public appearances. Biden swept them aside on "60 Minutes". "Do you think that when I sit down with our NATO partners and hold them together, they'll say: 'Wait a minute, how ... how old are you?' According to polls, Biden is the most promising candidate in a duel with Donald Trump. Yes Trump has neither declared his candidacy for 2024, nor is it certain that the ex-president would win the nomination race again.The Democrats waver between loyalty to the incumbent president and the desire for a younger, more vital candidate.Biden is often not trusted to be able to hold his own against a possible younger Republican candidate, such as Florida Governor Ron de Santis, who is said to have ambitions for the White House.

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