Biden, Harris to be regularly tested for COVID-19

Biden, Harris to be regularly tested for COVID-19
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - CDC equates Delta to chickenpox in contagiousness Harris's bad polls trigger Democratic worries Why in the world are White House reporters being told to mask up again? MORE (D-Calif.) will undergo regular testing for the coronavirus in the final months of the presidential race, a Biden campaign official said Monday. 

The decision to ramp up testing for the Democratic presidential and vice presidential nominees comes as they prepare for a more rigorous fall campaign season that includes the potential for additional in-person events. 

In addition to regular testing for Biden and Harris, staffers who interact with them will be tested regularly for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

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The Biden campaign official said the campaign would publicly disclose if either Biden or Harris has a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. 

The coronavirus pandemic has become a flashpoint on the campaign trail, with Biden and his allies repeatedly accusing President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE and his administration of failing to take swift action to quell the spread of the virus and encouraging states to reopen their economies quickly, despite the ongoing threat.

For his part, Biden has campaigned mostly virtually since the start of the pandemic earlier this year. He has also worn face masks in public appearances and has held events in line with public health guidelines.

“For the entirety of this outbreak, Joe Biden has lived his values, modeling and strongly encouraging responsible behavior to keep Americans safe while proposing the kind of desperately-needed national strategy for defeating this pandemic that Donald Trump still has not provided,” Andrew Bates, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, said in a statement.

“This announcement is another step demonstrating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's commitment to turn the page on Trump's catastrophic mismanagement during the worst public health crisis in 100 years,” Bates added.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that aired on Sunday, Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director, said the 77-year-old former vice president had not yet been tested for COVID-19 but that the campaign had “put the strictest protocols in place.”

"He has not been tested,” Bedingfield said. “However, we have put the strictest protocols in place, and ... moving forward, should he need to be tested, he certainly would be. But he has not been tested yet."