Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden says he’ll listen to what the experts say to determine whether it’s safe for him to face off next week against President Trump – who’s battling COVID-19 — at the second of three scheduled general election debates.
“I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate for me to do,” Biden told reporters as he boarded a flight Monday to campaign in the battleground state of Florida. The former vice president and Trump are scheduled to face off next Thursday in Miami, Fla. “Listen to the science. If scientists say that it’s safe…then I think that’s fine.”
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But Biden stressed that “I think we should be very cautious.”
The president was hospitalized Friday afternoon at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, hours after testing positive for the coronavirus. Trump and Biden shared the same stage last Tuesday, as they debated in Cleveland, Ohio in the first of three scheduled showdowns. The second debate – which is supposed to be held on Oct. 15 – is a town hall format with questions from the moderator as well as the audience.
“I’m looking forward to do a town hall meeting,” Biden told reporters.
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At one point, the former vice president’s wife Jill Biden gently pulled her husband back when he started standing too close to reporters. Everyone was wearing masks at the time on the tarmac at New Castle County Airport in Delaware.
Biden has been tested at least three times for COVID-19 since sharing the debate stage with the president last week – and each result has been negative.
Biden demurred when asked about the president’s condition, telling reporters “I’m reluctant to comment on the president’s health, what he’s doing or not doing. I’ll leave that to the doctors.”
Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris are scheduled to face off on Wednesday night in the single vice presidential debate. Both have tested negative for the coronavirus.
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Pence was among the attendees at Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House on Sept. 26, when there was no social distancing and many of those in attendance were not wearing masks.
At least nine people at the event have come down with the coronavirus, including the president and first lady Melania Trump. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who attended the event, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.