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Trump And Biden Have 'Very Friendly' Call On Virus Response

Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

President Trump and his likely Democratic opponent Joe Biden spoke about the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, a conversation that had been discussed between the two sides since last week.

"Vice President Biden and President Trump had a good call," according to a statement from Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield. "VP Biden shared several suggestions for actions the Administration can take now to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and expressed his appreciation for the spirit of the American people in meeting the challenges facing the nation."

"We had a really wonderful, warm conversation," Trump said at the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House. "He gave me his point of view, and I fully understood that, and we just had a very friendly conversation."

The president said the call lasted for about 15 minutes.

The context for this conversation goes back to comments that Trump's advisor Kellyanne Conway made on Fox News last week.

"I think it's really disappointing to have President Obama's number two, who apparently doesn't talk much to him, out there criticizing, instead of saying, 'Hey, here's what we did that we thought was effective,'" Conway said on Wednesday. "Why doesn't Vice President Biden call the White House today and offer some support?"

Later when Trump was asked about the possibility of accepting a call from Biden, he said he would "absolutely" take a call from the former vice president. Earlier on Monday, Trump took to Twitter and criticized Biden for not yet calling him.

Biden, who has been hunkered down at his home in Delaware, has been holding virtual press conferences and round tables about the pandemic. "Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus," he often says, "but he does bear responsibility for our response."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Asma Khalid is a White House correspondent for NPR. She also co-hosts The NPR Politics Podcast.