Oct 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden says he received two COVID-19 tests before visiting Michigan

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Image

Joe Biden said he received two COVID-19 tests on Friday after news that President Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for the virus, and the former vice president's team cancelled one of its previously planned events for safety concerns.

Driving the news: "We wanted to make sure that we're doing everything by the numbers," Biden said during remarks on the economy in Grand Rapids, Mich. "And so I got to two COVID tests this morning. One in Delaware and one by the former White House doc who came up. Everything is clear, we wanted to make sure everything was cleared before I came."

  • After his speech, Biden was scheduled to have an event at his campaign headquarters in Grand Rapids. "But based on the crowd size and an indoor [event], it was concluded by the docs that it's best not to do it," he said.
  • Biden and his wife, as well as Sen. Kamala Harris and her husband, have all tested negative for COVID-19.

Why it matters: Biden appeared with Trump at the presidential debate on Tuesday night and his campaign has been increasing in-person events over the last few weeks.

What they're saying: "This is not a matter of politics. It's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously," Biden said. "It's not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible."

  • Biden repeated his calls for a national mask mandate and emphasized reporting from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which estimates that 100,000 lives may be saved over the next 100 days if everyone wears a mask in public.
  • "Be patriotic," Biden said. "It's not about being a tough guy. It's about doing your part."
  • He also encouraged more people to participate in contact tracing, because "that's how you stop transmission for any epidemic. It's basic."

Earlier Friday, Biden tweeted his well wishes to Trump and FLOTUS. He reiterated those remarks in Michigan.

Go deeper: Biden tests negative for COVID-19

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