Women’s Soccer star Megan Rapinoe was excoriated on her Instagram page after hosting a discussion with Joe and Jill Biden and not once addressing the sexual assault allegation levied against the former vice president.
‘Was hopeful you’d use your remarkable platform & influence to #BelieveSurvivors and role model solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. Like you & Biden said, ‘We all fight for each other.’ It’s a nice sentiment and yet actions speak louder than words,’ one Instagram user commented on the 45-minute video.
‘You’ve always been my hero. Why didn’t you ask him about the sexual assault allegations? I’m really disappointed in what I thought you were,’ a second user wrote.
‘You forgot to ask about Tara Reade, Megan,’ another user pointed out.
Instead of asking about Tara Reade’s allegations, the three engaged in a friendly chat where Rapinoe asked the Bidens how they adapted to campaigning during a pandemic while criticizing Donald Trump for his response to coronavirus and touching on several policies they agree on.
Rapinoe, Biden noted during the talk, is not just an athlete but a female leader and role model – and she endorsed Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s run for president before she dropped out of the race earlier this year.
Several Instagram users expressed were hoping she would be the one to directly ask Biden about the allegations after a month of silence on the matter. Many comments implored Rapinoe to explain why she didn’t ask about Reade, or insisted her silence was complacency in saying she did not believe survivors of sexual assault.
Megan Rapinoe was bashed on Instagram for failing to force Joe Biden to respond to a sexual assault allegation levied against him during a 45-minute live-streamed discussion
One user wrote: ‘Was hopeful you’d use your remarkable platform & influence to #BelieveSurvivors and role model solidarity with survivors of sexual assault’
‘You forgot to ask about Tara Reade, Megan,’ another reminded
Rapinoe, Biden noted during the interview, is an athlete and ‘leader’
The athlete asked Biden about a plethora of other issues, including the new normal with campaigning, distanced visits with his kids and grandchildren and the decline of bipartisan in Washington, D.C.
Biden has not yet addressed the claim, which was made public on March 25 in a podcast interview. His campaign, however, has asserted the allegation is not true, pointing to the fact that she did not immediately disclose the incident when it happened.
While some recent polling shows Biden pulling ahead of Donald Trump in November as the president deals with handling fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic candidate is facing his own challenges with mounting pressure to address the allegation.
At the end of March, Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer, went public with allegations that he sexually assaulted her while she was working in his Capitol Hill office in 1993.
Reade, who was 29 at the time of the alleged assault, said Biden pushed her up against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers.
Biden has not yet been forced to answer for the claim, but his campaign has denied the allegations and dismissed any credibility of Reade.
Earlier on Thursday, Biden posted a video from his yard taken on Wednesday where he vowed that if he became president he would fly flags at the White House at half-mast to honor those who lost their lives from coronavirus.
In that 40-second video Biden also ignored calls for him to respond to sexual assault allegations levied against him.
‘I think the president should lower the flag at the White House to half-mast to recognize their loss and all they leave behind – all those families leave behind,’ Biden said in a video filmed outside the day before.
‘Many of them were first responders who gave their lives trying to save other lives. Folks, I think if he does not do that – if I’m president, I promise you, that’s what I’ll do,’ the former vice president vowed. ‘They should be recognized.’
The video was filmed outside, when usually any virtual interviews, videos or events Biden holds remotely are filmed in front of a bookshelf in the make-shift basement studio at his home.
Joe Biden demanded in a video released Thursday that Donald Trump lower the flags at the White House to half-mast to honor those who lost their lives from coronavirus. ‘If I’m president, I promise you, that’s what I’ll do,’ he said of lowering the flag
The flag atop the White House, seen here in a picture from Wednesday, has been flying high and has not lowered, like some other buildings, to honor coronavirus victims
Biden made the assertion as the death toll in the U.S. continues to surge and has now surpassed the levels of the Vietnam War, where 58,220 Americans lost their lives.
‘It’s April the 29, by the end of this month we will have lost more people from coronavirus – dead – than we lost in the entire Vietnam War – Americans lost in the entire Vietnam war,’ Biden stumbled in the pre-recorded video.
More than 61,500 people have died in the U.S. from coronavirus and there are more than 1.06 million confirmed cases.
Biden has been highly critical of Donald Trump’s response to coronavirus, claiming he exacerbated the outbreak by ignoring intelligence reports and warnings from health experts.
‘Donald Trump either read his daily briefings and ignored the warnings, or didn’t read them at all. Either way, it’s a complete and unjustifiable dereliction of duty,’ Biden tweeted Thursday.
The former vice president became the presumed Democratic nominee earlier this year when his remaining competition, progressive Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, suspended his campaign and threw his weight behind Biden’s campaign.