Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign announced Monday morning he would not be campaigning in person, the 17th day that will be the case this month alone.
Biden, 77, stayed in his home for months starting in March after the COVID-19 situation was declared a pandemic, and has been slow to ramp up his schedule since becoming the presumptive, then confirmed, Democrat nominee.
Biden’s campaign has called lids, or said he wouldn’t campaign in person that day, in the morning 11 times this month, according to an Epoch Times tally. That includes four times in the past seven days.
On five other occasions, Biden has spoken from his home city before no audience members or gone to church and quickly went back home.
The campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Biden has traveled to seven other states to campaign in person this month, including Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
But on other days, he’s stayed home, speaking at virtual fundraisers and doing remote television appearances.
On several days, Biden has held events where he makes remarks from Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives, but the events usually have no audience members and he has often traveled back to his house immediately afterward.
On Sept. 14, for instance, Biden spoke about the wildfires raging on the West Coast but no one was present besides reporters and staffers. He then went home to speak at virtual fundraisers.
On Sept. 25, Biden went to Washington to attend a ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died about a week prior. After the ceremony, Biden went home, even as his wife, Jill Biden, traveled to Maine to campaign. Jill Biden spoke about her husband’s plan to revive the economy and met with loggers, blueberry farmers, and others in Bangor before touring a lobster boat in Blue Hull.
In contrast, President Donald Trump has taken few days off, campaigning at more events in person and in more states than his rival.
Trump, 74, has drawn attention to when Biden stays home, using his “Sleepy Joe” nickname and accusing the Democrat of having low energy levels.
Biden aides have defended the lack of in-person events, citing the pandemic and accusing Trump of endangering Americans by holding large rallies, even if many are outdoors.
But even some Democrats are complaining about the campaign strategy.
Not traveling because of the pandemic is a “pretty lame excuse,” Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa told the Associated Press.
“I thought he had his own plane. He doesn’t have to sit with one space between another person on a commercial airline like I would,” Hinojosa added, urging Biden to visit Texas and Arizona.
Collette Alston, chairwoman of the Charlotte African American Caucus, said after an event Biden held in Charlotte last week drew only 16 people: “I do believe that he can win North Carolina. Can he win it based on what he’s doing right now? No. That’s not the way to win it.”
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, said recently that Biden is “invisible” even though Nov. 3 election is quickly approaching.
Biden defenders have said Biden is hunkered down to prepare for the Sept. 29 debate with Trump, the first presidential debate of this cycle.
Asked how much time he’s spent preparing for the debate, Trump told reporters on Sunday: “I’m running a country. I don’t have the luxury.”
Answering questions from reporters on a daily basis is good preparation, he added, and he’s received assistance from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.