The last week of April, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden made headlines when he called for more “economic intercourse” around the world. The comment came up in an interview with CBS Miami during which the former vice president observed, “You’re going to have travel bans, you’re going to not be able to do, have economic intercourse around the world. When it’s America first, it’s America alone.” [Emphasis added]
Technically, there is nothing wrong with Biden’s choice of words. Although the word intercourse tends to pop up more often in discussions of sex, the dictionary definition is “communication or dealings between individuals or groups.”
What made Biden’s use of it noteworthy was the timing. He spoke of it at the height of the scandal involving former aide Tara Reade, who had accused the then-senator of forcing her up against a wall in the basement of the Senate and penetrating her with his fingers.
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Many of the comments regarding Biden’s choice of diction acknowledged that another word might have better suited the occasion. So what did he do during his appearance last week on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”? He said:
The pandemic is that this President has no intercourse whatsoever with the rest of the world on dealing with these things.
Take a look:
JOE BIDEN: “The pandemic is that this President has no intercourse whatsoever with the rest of the world.” pic.twitter.com/syhybuxcF9
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) May 6, 2020