Biden marketing campaign flips COVID-19 menace into new Trump distinction


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Confronted with its first recognized coronavirus scare, Joe Biden’s presidential marketing campaign turned the menace into one other distinction with President Donald Trump within the closing weeks of a common election battle dominated by how the Republican incumbent has dealt with the pandemic and his personal COVID-19 prognosis.

In line with Biden’s marketing campaign supervisor, Jen O’Malley Dillon, the marketing campaign discovered late Wednesday that two folks related to the operation had examined constructive for the coronavirus. By 10 a.m. Thursday, O’Malley Dillon had publicly recognized a prime aide to vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris as having contracted the virus and confirmed that the marketing campaign would droop journey briefly for the California senator and her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Earlier than the top of the day, the marketing campaign introduced a 3rd constructive case linked to Biden’s marketing campaign airplane and up-to-date adverse COVID-19 assessments for Biden and Harris, together with medical specialists’ explanations of why they believed Biden was by no means uncovered and wouldn’t should cancel upcoming journey.

With the election rapidly approaching, the episode was one other instance of how Biden and Trump are responding in vastly other ways to the pandemic. Whereas Trump’s aides supplied shifting and generally contradictory explanations following a White Home coronavirus outbreak, Biden’s workforce supplied extra specifics. And as Trump returns to aggressive marketing campaign journey earlier than huge, typically unmasked crowds, the Biden marketing campaign bolstered its dedication to following public well being pointers.

“It’s due to the protocols that we’ve got in place that we’ve got been capable of get this info, that we have been capable of determine what’s occurring right here,” O’Malley Dillon stated, noting the marketing campaign’s common testing for Biden, Harris and people who journey with them, together with strict enforcement of masks and social distancing in any respect occasions.

As Biden’s marketing campaign performed contact tracing and made public disclosures, Trump traveled to North Carolina — the place Harris was alleged to be on Thursday — for an additional rally. He greeted a tightly packed, principally unmasked crowd there to listen to a president who nonetheless isn’t providing the general public an in depth timeline of any COVID-19 assessments or his therapy course since a three-day keep at Walter Reed Nationwide Army Medical Heart after he introduced on Oct. 2 that he had contracted the virus that has killed greater than 217,000 People.

Biden has sought to make Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic a pillar of his argument that Trump is irresponsible, unfit to steer and has value American lives. A brand new Related Press-NORC Heart for Public Affairs Analysis survey suggests many citizens agree with the Democratic challenger.

The AP-NORC poll discovered 65% of respondents assume Trump has not taken the coronavirus outbreak within the U.S. critically sufficient. The ballot, which was taken every week after Trump disclosed his personal COVID-19 prognosis, additionally reveals that 54% of People disapprove of how the White Home dealt with the episode.

Harris labored from her Washington residence Thursday, in response to an aide who spoke on situation of anonymity to debate the senator’s plans. She is going to marketing campaign just about by the weekend.

Throughout a digital fundraising name Thursday, Harris emphasised the distinction with Trump, telling donors that the Biden marketing campaign’s response “clearly stands in stark distinction to you-know-who.”

The president disclosed his prognosis by way of Twitter, however solely after Bloomberg Information confirmed that one in every of his prime aides, Hope Hicks, had examined constructive and was symptomatic after touring that week aboard Air Pressure One.

Since then, the White Home has repeatedly declined to say what number of staffers have examined constructive, citing privateness considerations. However reporters have introduced further circumstances to mild.

The White Home has not notified reporters, Secret Service brokers or Trump marketing campaign staffers who could have been uncovered throughout the outbreak.

Trump’s prognosis got here days after he mocked the 77-year-old Biden for his COVID-19 protocols as the 2 stood on the controversy stage collectively for greater than 90 minutes.

“I don’t put on masks like him,” Trump stated. “Each time you see him, he’s acquired a masks. He may very well be talking 200 ft away from it — he reveals up with the largest masks I’ve ever seen.”

Biden countered that the 74-year-old president has “been a idiot” on masks.

Some fundamental questions stay about Trump’s sickness, together with when he final examined adverse earlier than his prognosis and what his lung scans revealed.

The White Home additionally didn’t reveal that the president’s youngest son, Barron, examined constructive for the coronavirus after first testing adverse – as that they had initially introduced. The primary girl lastly disclosed that info Wednesday, after he had examined adverse once more.

The Democratic ticket’s marketing campaign occasions are socially distanced and require individuals to put on masks. Workers typically set chairs inside white plastic circles to indicate 6 ft (1.eight meters) of distance. Throughout a latest indoor speech at a North Carolina occasion for Harris, reporters got and requested to put on KN95 masks. Workers for Biden’s Florida marketing campaign distributed N95 masks at a latest occasion at a Florida neighborhood middle for seniors.

Biden and Harris sometimes preserve their masks on when talking indoors. Each journey on planes with a small variety of employees and Secret Service. For Harris’ journey, a second airplane carries the remainder of the employees. For Biden, a second airplane carries the touring press corps.

Biden’s relative transparency on the coronavirus doesn’t all the time prolong to different particulars about his well being.

Biden stated throughout an NBC Information city corridor on Oct. 5, after Trump had been discharged from Walter Reed, that “it’s a must to inform the entire reality” about your well being as president however not essentially “second to second” as a well being scare performs out.

He referred to the 1981 assassination try of President Ronald Reagan. “They have been clear,” Biden stated, however added that People didn’t get a play-by-play of the president’s care.

Requested whether or not he’d ever maintain again some a part of his well being standing, Biden stated, “Solely on the margins and just for the second.”


Related Press writers Jill Colvin in Washington and Kathleen Ronayne in Sacramento, Calif., contributed to this report.

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