President Biden said he would run for re-election if he was “in good health” and that he believed “fate” would help bring him a second term.
Biden, 79, made the commitment in an interview with ABC News Wednesday, telling “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir he would welcome a rematch with former President Donald Trump.
“If I’m in the health I’m in now — I’m in good health — then, in fact, I would run again,” Biden said.
“I’m a great respecter of fate. Fate has intervened in my life many, many times.”
Biden said a rematch against his 2020 rival would add to the appeal of a run for re-election.
“You’re trying to tempt me now. Sure. Why would I not run against Donald Trump if he were the nominee? That would increase the prospect of running,” the Democrat said.
Trump, who is 75, would also be in his 80s in the White House if he won a second, nonconsecutive term.
Biden was grilled by Muir over a reported scarcity of availability of tests in the days before Christmas, a year into his presidency and two years into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nothing’s been good enough,” Biden allowed. “But look — look where we are, when last Christmas we were in a situation where we had significantly fewer vaccinated — people vaccinated, emergency rooms were filled. You had serious backups in hospitals that were causing great difficulties.”
Biden said the U.S. response to a surge in infections by the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was not a “failure,” but he conceded that he regretted not ordering millions of free rapid tests for Americans “two months ago.”
Biden, who announced plans Tuesday to purchase 500 million at-home tests and give them out for free next month, said the administration should have been better prepared to combat the highly transmissible variant and the long lines at testing centers and unavailability of tests on many pharmacy shelves.
“I wish I had thought about ordering” the tests “two months ago,” he told Muir.
“I don’t think it’s a failure,” Biden said of the response. “I think it’s — you could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago.”
The president touted crossing the benchmark of 200 million fully vaccinated Americans and said inoculations and booster shots remained the best defense against omicron. Nevertheless, he told the network he would not federally require airline passengers to get vaccinated as millions hit the airport for Christmas.
“It’s been considered, but the recommendation I’ve gotten [is that] it’s not necessary,” Biden said. “Even with omicron, that’s the recommendation I got so far from the team.”