WASHINGTON • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Ms Kamala Harris, nominated as his running mate, will be tested regularly for Covid-19, an aide has said, as the campaign prepares for the possibility of more public events in the run-up to the November polls.
Since the coronavirus began spreading widely in the United States in March, Mr Biden has appeared at few public events, most of them close to his Delaware home.
But following his formal nomination at last week’s Democratic National Convention, the campaign is expanding its health protocols in a new phase of the race that could see the former vice-president in closer proximity to the public.
“Consistent with the transparency (Mr) Biden has demonstrated, we will make public if either (he) or Senator Harris ever has a confirmed, positive case of Covid-19,” a campaign aide told Reuters on Monday.
The aide said Mr Biden, 77, and Ms Harris, 55, as well as key staff who interact with them, would be tested “on a regular basis”, in line with the advice of medical advisers.
“This is what responsible leadership looks like,” the person added.
Reporters have frequently asked Mr Biden whether he has been tested for Covid-19, and he has always answered no.
Mr Biden has criticised President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which has killed nearly 180,000 Americans, as disastrous.
During campaign appearances, many broadcast online, Mr Biden consistently wears masks and maintains distance to show his adherence to public health guidelines.
By contrast, Mr Trump, 74, who will face Mr Biden in the Nov 3 election, downplayed the virus outbreak in its early stages. He once referred to mask-wearing as politically correct and has been reluctant to wear a face covering himself.
Mr Trump in July wore a mask in public for the first time, a shift in his tone to encourage Americans to wear them as the country began to see a spike in cases.