- Joe Biden gave speech bashing Trump from old Pennsylvania steel mill Monday
- But he garbled his words when he spoke about the impact of coronavirus
- 'COVID has taken this year, just since the outbreak, has taken more than 100 years… Look. Here’s… The lives… It’s just… I mean, think about it,' he said
- Gaffe was retweeted by Eric Trump, who added: 'This is why they don't want him him to leave his basement'
Coronavirus is key line of attack in Joe Biden's effort to topple the Trump presidency, so you would have thought he'd have his lines straight by now.
Despite mentioning Trump's response to the virus every chance he gets, Biden managed to fumble his words as he spoke from a Pennsylvania steel mill on Monday.
While seemingly trying to say that coronavirus is 'the worst pandemic for 100 years', the former Vice President actually told bemused viewers: 'COVID has taken this year, just since the outbreak, has taken more than 100 years… Look. Here’s… The lives… It’s just… I mean, think about it.
'More lives this year than any year in the past 100 years,' he concluded.
The gaffe echoes dozens of times that Biden, 77, fumbled his words during the Democrat primaries, raising fears among voters that he is not fit to take on Trump.
Video of his latest error was picked up on by Eric Trump, who retweeted it along with the caption: 'This is why the Biden campaign doesn’t want him to leave his basement.
'This guy isn’t playing with a full deck and it is so irresponsible that the media covers this up.'
Biden had used the rest of his speech to attack Trump's record on 'law and order', which had become central to his fight to win four more years in the White House.
In the wake of sometimes violent protests that have rocked the US in the wake of George Floyd's killing, Biden denounced rioters, looters, and those causing violence - saying it is 'not protesting' and 'needs to stop'.
He also attacked Trump for 'stoking violence in our cities' and rubbished the Republican's attempts to link his party to the worst of the disorder.
'Ask yourself, do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?' he said, before adding: 'I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same.'
Eric Trump tweeted the video of Biden's gaffe at a time when questions were also being raised about Trump's health, amid claims he had a series of mini-strokes.
Donald Trump lashed out on Twitter, seeming to blame a book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt as the source of the story - though Schmidt said he never mentioned mini-strokes.
'It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes,' he tweeted.
'Never happened to THIS candidate - FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!'
Trump then directed the White House physician to release a statement stating that he had never been treated for a 'cerebrovascular accident.'
Mike Pence also backed Trump up amid suggestions that he was told to be on standby to assume the presidency as Trump made a sudden visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last year.
'I don't recall being told to be on standby,' Pence told Fox News in an interview on Tuesday. 'I was informed that the president had a doctor's appointment.'
The vice president also insisted that the 'American people can be confident that this president is in remarkable good health, and every single day I see that energy.'
Trump also went on the attack against Matt Drudge after his news aggregation site, the Drudge Report, led with the mini-strokes story, including a video which purports to show Trump 'dragging his right leg' - a symptom of a stroke.
'Drudge didn't support me in 2016, and I hear he doesn't support me now. Maybe that's why he is doing poorly,' Trump tweeted Tuesday evening.
'His Fake News report on Mini-Strokes is incorrect. Possibly thinking about himself, of the other party's "candidate."'
Trump's campaign also demanded that CNN fire Democratic pundit Joe Lockhart, who served as White House press secretary under President Bill Clinton, for floating in a tweet that Trump was covering up a stroke.
'CNN should fire Joe Lockhart, a lifetime failure who thought it was a great idea for fellow loser Michael Dukakis to put on that stupid helmet, for knowingly pushing a conspiracy theory about President Trump's health,' a campaign statement read.
It went on to say Lockhart 'single-handedly sank the John Kerry campaign' and now he’s doing the same to Joe Biden from a distance.
'If another CNN employee said similar things about Barack Obama they’d be fired immediately, so the same standard should be applied here,' the campaign said.
'That is, of course, unless CNN is complicit in the smear campaign in order to level the playing field against Joe Biden, somebody who truly has lost a step.'