A spokesperson for the Biden campaign slammed The New York Times over a recent report alleging that the former VP’s campaign has been “cagey on health questions” following President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis.
“With transparency on health newly significant in the presidential race, Joe Biden’s safety protocols have remained largely under wraps. But on Sunday evening, his campaign said he had again tested negative for the coronavirus,” the Times began a report on Sunday.
The report praised the Democratic nominee for going “great lengths to model responsible behavior in the coronavirus era,” highlighting his mask-wearing, him not holding rallies, and his social distancing at campaign events.
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However, the Times swiped the Biden campaign for keeping the 77-year-old candidate’s health protocols “largely under wraps” and “saying little about what steps it is taking to protect” him.
“Transparency has taken on new significance in the presidential race given the conflicting information about Mr. Trump’s health and the fact that his Democratic rival, who is also in an age group that is particularly susceptible to Covid-19, was exposed to the president during their 90-minute debate on Tuesday,” the report continued. “Mr. Biden, who is ahead in national polls and many battleground state surveys, still faces the possibility of a positive test; he is continuing to campaign rather than quarantine, and his campaign has been cagey about his health protocols.”
Biden campaign rapid response director Andrew Bates fired back at the Times, suggesting its report goes beyond parody.
“It’s like the NYT got drunk and accepted a challenge to do a more over the top caricature of themselves than The Onion ever could,” Bates tweeted on Sunday night.
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Bates also retweeted another critic calling the report a “bizarre and flatly false hitjob.”
Other Democrats slammed the Times. Former Obama deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes tweeted the report is “like an addict in search of a Both Sides fix.” Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart reacted, “Put this story in the file with Hillary’s emails stories.”
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Biden has repeatedly tested negative for the coronavirus after President Trump revealed late Thursday night that both he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive.
Trump was admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday. He announced on Monday that he would be returning to the White House later that evening.