By Tim Darnell, Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all (CNT)
Democratic White House nominee Joe Biden has again tested negative for the coronavirus, as the man whom he hopes to replace, President Donald Trump, enters a fourth day of hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Biden’s campaign said Sunday night the former vice president “underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today,” with negative results.
Biden’s health protocols, according to The New York Times, have remained largely under wraps, with his campaign saying little about what steps it is taking to protect the 77-year-old nominee. Aides are saying simply Biden is tested “regularly.” The campaign is refusing to provide details about Biden’s testing procedures.
Trump’s hospitalization has refocused the election to where Biden wants it: on Trump’s leadership throughout the pandemic. News that the GOP president had contracted the virus came days after a messy, chaotic debate between Biden and Trump.
The two men are scheduled to debate again Oct. 15. The CDC said infected people can see others 10 days after symptoms first appear at the earliest, as long as symptoms are improving. Trump could leave the hospital Monday.
Trump’s team over the weekend announced plans to aggressively dispatch Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s family to key swing states after Wednesday’s vice presidential debate to help the campaign regain momentum. It’s unclear, however, how the plan dubbed “Operation MAGA” differs from the campaign’s previous strategy. The president’s top surrogates have been active on the campaign trail for months.
Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris are set to face off Wednesday night in Utah for the only vice presidential debate. Trump’s health status makes the typically lower-profile affair more consequential.
Biden has been delivering an optimistic message of unity since the beginning of his campaign, a message that meets this moment as well. He was roundly praised for pulling attack ads off the air after Trump’s hospitalization, and his surrogates on Sunday largely kept up the positive tone.