Oct 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden tests negative for COVID-19

Joe Biden with a mask in his right hand next to his face

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Image

Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris both tested negative for COVID-19 Friday. Harris is moving forward with her previously planned campaign stop in Las Vegas today, as well.

Driving the news: "Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected. I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden's primary care physician," read a statement from the Biden campaign.

  • A Harris aide told Axios that Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff have both tested negative.
  • Biden tweeted: "I'm happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID. Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."

Why it matters: Biden appeared with President Trump at Tuesday's debate. Trump tweeted late Thursday that he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive and will begin quarantining.

  • It ensures the pandemic will be the focus and it forces both sides to be more cautious about how they're campaigning — just as Biden's team started increasing his in-person events.

Driving the news: Hope Hicks, one of the president's closest confidants and West Wing aides, also tested positive after traveling to attend the debate — where she and the president's family did not wear masks.

  • Biden and his campaign didn't find out about Hope Hicks or Trump testing positive before anyone else — they learned from the news reports, a source familiar told Axios.
  • Before this, Biden and Harris were getting tested "regularly" for COVID-19, per the campaign. Staff who work closely with them have also been tested frequently.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Biden's tweet.

Go deeper