Joe Biden said President Donald Trump‘s positive test for coronavirus is a “bracing reminder” of the seriousness of the pandemic.
“We have to take this virus seriously. It’s not going away automatically,” the former vice president said Friday in a speech during a pared-back trip to Michigan that followed Biden testing negative for the virus in the morning. “We have to do our part to be responsible. It means following the science, listening to the experts, washing our hands, social distancing. It means wearing a mask in public. It means encouraging others to do so as well.”
Wearing a mask and standing in front of an American flag in the parking lot of a union hall in Grand Rapids, the Democratic nominee said he and his wife, Jill Biden, send their “prayers for the health and safety” of Trump and first lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive.
He also implored Americans to wear masks — a message he has delivered for months, but with political implications that were difficult to miss after Trump’s entourage had ignored the Cleveland Clinic’s rules requiring masks at Tuesday night’s debate, while Biden’s guests wore masks.
“Be patriotic,” Biden said. “It’s not about being a tough guy. It’s about doing your part. Wearing a mask is not only going to protect you, but it also protects those around you. Your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, husband, wife, neighbor, co-worker. Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for the people you love, the people you work with.”
The Michigan trip was the first glimpse at how Biden might campaign after Trump’s positive test. The Democratic nominee scrapped a second planned stop at a local Democratic headquarters, citing the expected crowd size and more cramped quarters.