Joe Biden Makes a Show of Removing Mask for Interview With Colbert

The former vice president’s ostentatious face-covering came hours after Trump said he didn’t want the press to see him wearing a mask

Former vice president Joe Biden did an interview with Stephen Colbert Thursday night and was wearing a face mask when he popped up on the screen, offering a stark contrast with President Donald Trump, who declined to wear one in front of the press earlier in the day.

“Well, there’s Secret Service outside and what happens is all the Secret Service is tested and I have three or four people come in here with mask and gloves that help me set this up,” the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said, removing the mask. “So, you know, I wear the mask all the time — not all the time — but when anybody’s around other than Jill.”

Colbert told the “Late Show” guest it was “good to see” him wearing a mask in the first place. The two continued talking about the upcoming election and the coronavirus, with Biden saying he will beat Trump because “the American people, they fully understand what’s at stake here.”

“This is the most important election of anybody’s life, not because I’m running, but because of the circumstances: We’ve lost 36 million jobs. We have over — what is it? — 93,000 dead and the number’s climbing, and the way he’s walked away from the rest of the world…” Biden said, taking aim at Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

Earlier in the day, the president visited a factory in Michigan amid speculation over whether he would decline to publicly wear a mask, which he has done in the past in spite of recommendations from his own administration.

He ultimately appeared at the plant with no mask, claiming he wore one “in the back area” but removed it because he “didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”

Watch Biden’s unmasking and interview above.