Joe Biden’s coronavirus campaign is coming to an end.
The Democratic presidential nominee who had halted nearly all campaign travel since the pandemic struck in March said on Thursday he plans to return to the trail, likely after Labor Day.
“One of the things we’re thinking about is I’m going to be going up into Wisconsin, and Minnesota, spending time in Pennsylvania, out in Arizona. But we’re going to do it in a way that is totally consistent with being responsible, unlike what this guy’s doing,” Biden said at a campaign fundraising event, according to a pool report. “I’m a tactile politician. I really miss being able to, you know, grab hands, shake hands, you can’t do that now. But I can in fact appear beyond virtually, in person, in many of these places.”
President Donald Trump and his aides have been chiding Biden over his lack of travel, particularly last week, when Biden did not accept the nomination from Milwaukee, as planned. Instead, he held an event locally in Delaware with no supporters present and limited media, under strict health guidelines that required individuals to test negative for Covid-19 for two consecutive days before being allowed to enter the building.
Trump, meanwhile, visited Wisconsin and later accused Biden of snubbing the battleground state.
“Biden and the Democrats have greatly disrespected the Great State of Wisconsin by not even paying a small visit to Milwaukee, the designated site of the DNC,” Trump tweeted. “The State & City worked very hard to make sure things would be good. Not nice.”
Biden counters that Trump had put his staff and supporters at risk during the travel.
“What we’re working on is how I get out,” Biden said Thursday. “I’m going to be traveling throughout the country where I can do it consistent with the state rules about how many people can be assembled.”
Biden’s announcement came on the same day he sat for two cable news interviews in which he addressed the unrest in Kenosha, Wis.
Though the interviews happened in the run-up to the final night of the Republican convention, a source familiar with Biden’s strategy said the intent was to call for calm after riots and violent clashes in Kenosha. After a police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, multiple times, rioters set fires. Later, three people were shot, two fatally. Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, was charged in the killings.
Biden had been criticized for not condemning the violence that followed Blake’s shooting. He did release a video statement on Wednesday before following up with lengthier comments in Thursday’s media interviews.