Biden to Get Tested for COVID-19 for First Time: Campaign

August 24, 2020 Updated: August 25, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be tested for COVID-19, his campaign announced Monday.

Biden, 77, has not been tested once for the new disease, which is caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. That virus began circulating late last year.

“For the entirety of this outbreak, Joe Biden has lived his values, modeling and strongly encouraging responsible behavior to keep Americans safe while proposing the kind of desperately needed national strategy for defeating this pandemic that Donald Trump still has not provided,” campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement to news outlets.

“This announcement is another step demonstrating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s commitment to turn the page on Trump’s catastrophic mismanagement during the worst public health crisis in 100 years,” he added later.

Biden’s campaign has argued he didn’t need to get tested because he rarely interacts with the public. Biden has primarily stayed at home in Delaware since March.

The announcement came one day after a campaign official said Biden hasn’t had the virus, something that’s impossible to know without being tested.

“He has not been tested; however, we have put the strictest protocols in place and, moving forward, should he need to be tested, he certainly would be,” deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

“He has not had the virus,” she claimed.

biden and harris
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on stage outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Del., on Aug. 20, 2020. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A significant percentage of people—as many as 40 percent—who become infected with the CCP virus don’t show any symptoms.

Republican President Donald Trump, 74, has been tested regularly. He has not tested positive, according to the White House.

Strict protocols are in place for both men, including testing people expected to come into contact with them. Reporters who cover their events are tested and wear masks.

A Biden campaign aide told Reuters that the campaign will announce publicly if Biden or his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), ever has “a confirmed, positive case of COVID-19.”

Harris, 55, will also be regularly tested, the campaign said.

It wasn’t clear when the new action plan would start and Biden’s campaign didn’t respond to an inquiry. Trump’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Biden told reporters in June that he hadn’t been tested in part because he showed no symptoms.

He also said he didn’t want “to take anybody else’s place in the process.”

At the time, Biden claimed he would get tested “relatively soon.”

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