At the Democratic National Convention last week, former Vice President Joe Biden was highly critical of President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a least one area related to coronavirus where the president has been far more careful than his challenger.
Whereas Trump boasts of how frequently he is tested for the disease, a Biden campaign official recently admitted that the Democratic nominee has not been tested.
“He has not had the virus,” the Washington Examiner quoted deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield as saying to ABC News during a Sunday appearance.
“Strict protocols” in place
“We have put in place really strict protocols, as I think all of your journalists who attended our convention in Delaware this week saw,” she continued.
“We’ve put in place incredibly strict protocols to ensure that everybody involved who is around Vice President Biden, who is around Senator Harris, is undergoing the appropriate testing,” Bedingfield insisted. “He has not been tested, however, we have put the strictest protocols in place.”
CBS correspondent Bo Erickson said on Saturday that he had reached out to the Biden campaign to ask about testing but his inquires were ignored.
“I tried to ask Joe Biden on Thursday night if he has been tested for COVID-19,” Erickson tweeted. “No reply from him. His campaign refused to say this week and as of July 28 he told reporters he has not been tested.”
The CBS reporter included footage of himself asking Biden if he had undergone a test, to which a Biden campaign aide can be heard responding, “Are you kidding me?”
According to the Washington Examiner, Biden’s decision not to be tested flew in the face of DNC rules that required journalists and other attendees to undergo the procedure.
Campaign announces changes
Perhaps the Examiner’s report struck a nerve? Biden’s campaign announced Monday that Biden, Harris, and close staffers will start undergoing regular testing.
Coronavirus isn’t the only thing that Biden was apparently reluctant to be tested for, as earlier this month he reacted angrily to the suggestion that he take a test measuring cognitive ability.
“No, I haven’t taken a test,” the former vice president told journalist Errol Barnett, adding, “Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man.”
“That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think?” Biden demanded. “Huh? Are you a junkie?”