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Why isn’t Joe Biden being tested for COVID-19?

The campaign owes us an explanation

August 23, 2020

1:16 PM

23 August 2020

1:16 PM

Joe Biden has faced questions on his mental and physical acuity throughout his presidential bid. For example, he first said he is cognitively tested ‘all the time’ and then clarified to say he has not had a formal cognitive test

But there is a larger issue lingering over the 77-year-old — Joe Biden has not been tested for COVID-19.

Joe Biden receives Secret Service protection and intelligence briefings similar to that of the President. So why is he refusing to be tested regularly, as the President is, for a highly contagious virus that has killed 173,000 Americans? As of August 19, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of approximately 41,000 Americans aged between 74 and 85. Joe Biden is an American aged between 74 and 85.

The last time Biden personally spoke about being tested was July 28, almost a full month ago. Both the candidate and his campaign stonewall the public and the media on this topic, as families suffer losses, both personally and economically. Presumably Biden doesn’t think it’s that important.


In an interview with deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos noted that the Biden campaign refused on two occasions in the prior week to answer questions on if Biden has ever been tested. When asked directly, Bedingfield responded, ‘He has not had the virus,’ but then went on to say ‘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.’

This is unacceptable for the aged candidate. While Stephanopoulos deserves credit for pushing the issue, the campaign should have been asked about this sooner. Biden’s results should be made publicly and readily available by the campaign. As of now, it looks like the Biden campaign is hiding the candidate from this issue, or possibly worse.

On March 9, CNN, Reuters, USA Today, CBS News, Politico and the Hill all ran stories about how President Trump had not yet being tested for the virus. On March 10, the Washington Post more bluntly editorialized, ‘Why hasn’t Trump been tested for the coronavirus?’ On March 13, Annie Karni of the New York Times wrote ‘As Mr Trump introduced a line of chief executives and public health officials, praising their efforts and those of his administration, the mystery was the President’s own health. Would Mr Trump, 73, be tested after interacting with a Brazilian official who tested positive for the virus just days after meeting with him in Florida?’ The Daily Beast went so far as to suggest the President had been exposed, writing ‘Donald Trump Hasn’t Been Tested for Coronavirus Despite Possible Exposure, Says White House’.

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Despite protocols from his campaign, Biden is a public figure who travels and is exposed to public environments. Biden could also be rendered incapacitated for a period of time, or worse, should he contract the virus. That would lead to further questions about his running mate Kamala Harris’s readiness should she need to step in, temporarily, or permanently. Harris herself has also not answered if she has taken a COVID test or is being tested regularly as the vice presidential candidate.

It seems noteworthy that Biden’s campaign can state factually and with absolute certainty that he has not contracted the virus, while also saying that he has not once been tested. Their answer to this crucial question is not good enough. We should demand more.


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