Joe Biden has said Donald Trump is the country's 'first' racist president.

The Democratic presidential nominee was speaking at a virtual town hall meeting when a questioner complained of racism surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.

They mentioned the president referring to Covid-19 as the 'China virus'.

Mr Biden responded by blasting Trump and his "spread of racism".

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“The way he deals with people based on the colour of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening,” the former vice president said.

“No sitting president has ever done this.

“Never, never, never.

“No Republican president has done this.

“No Democratic president.

HeraldScotland:

“We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed.

“They’ve tried to get elected president.

“He’s the first one that has.”

Mr Biden also suggested that Trump is using race “as a wedge” to distract from his mishandling of the pandemic.

However, many presidents, including George Washington, owned slaves.

At a White House briefing later on Wednesday, Mr Trump responded to a question about Mr Biden’s comments by pointing to his administration’s efforts passing criminal justice reform legislation and expanding opportunity zones, as well as the low unemployment numbers for minority groups before the coronavirus outbreak.

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“I’ve done more for black Americans than anybody with the possible of exception of Abraham Lincoln,” the president said.

“Nobody has even been close.”

Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser for Mr Trump’s reelection campaign, said in a statement that ”no one should take lectures on racial justice from Joe Biden”.

Mr Biden has vowed that, if elected, he will begin addressing institutional racism within his first 100 days of taking office.