Biden speaks on pandemic after Trump diagnosis: ‘This cannot be a partisan moment’
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for unity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and President Trump’s positive diagnosis at a campaign stop in Michigan on Friday.
“We can get this pandemic under control so we can get our economy working for everyone,” Biden said, speaking to press in Grand Rapids, Mich. “But this cannot be a partisan moment. It must be an American moment.”
Biden’s remarks came after Trump announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for the virus and were quarantining in the White House. The White House later Friday announced the president was taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center for a few days.
White House physician Sean Conley said on Friday that the president “remains fatigued but in good spirits” and received a cocktail of polyclonal antibodies as a precaution.
“I’d like to start by acknowledging, which I’m sure all of you do as well, sending my prayers for the health and safety of the first lady and the president of the United States,” Biden said. “My wife Jill and I pray that they’ll make a quick and full recovery.”
“This is not a matter of politics. It’s a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously,” he added.
The former vice president said that he underwent two tests that came out negative Friday. Additionally, Biden said he canceled another event in Michigan, underscoring his campaign’s cautious approach to in-person events.
One of the most important messages Biden sent during his remarks was choosing to wear his face mask for the entirety of the speech.
Biden has long emphasized the importance of wearing protective face coverings as a means to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“We can save 100,000 lives in the next 100 days, according to the head of the CDC, if everyone wears a mask in public,” Biden said. “So be patriotic, it’s not about being a tough guy.”
Trump notably mocked Biden for his practice of wearing face masks at Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland.
“Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from them, and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said.
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