On Monday, Trump appeared for a photo opportunity at the South Portico of the White House and removed his mask before saluting at the cameras. Trump received backlash from his decision to remove the mask but the president was optimistic in a video message, telling Americans, “Don’t let [coronavirus] dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it.”
The White House later said that Trump’s decision to remove his mask while infected with the coronavirus was an “image of strength.”
In his Tuesday speech, Biden said, “Let’s just set partisanship aside. Let’s end the politics and follow the science. Wearing a mask, wearing a mask is not a political statement, it’s a scientific recommendation. Social distancing is not a political statement, it’s a scientific recommendation. Testing, tracing, the development, and overall approval and distribution of a vaccine isn’t a political statement, it is a science-based decision.”
Biden continued, “We can do better starting today. We can have a national strategy that puts politics aside and saves lives … We can have a national strategy that reflects the true values of this nation. This pandemic is not a red state or blue state issue.”
“This virus doesn’t care whether you live or where you live, what political party you belong to. It infects us all, it’s a virus, it’s not a political weapon,” he added.
Joe Biden: “Let's set partisanship aside. Let’s end the politics and follow the science … wearing a mask is not a political statement. It’s a scientific recommendation. Social distancing isn't a political statement. It’s a scientific recommendation.” https://t.co/VOTYc6KSwH pic.twitter.com/6WY6oMhYn3— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 6, 2020
The Biden campaign has taken some extra steps to keep the former vice president safe, the candidate is appearing frequently in empty rooms with his campaign fighting to keep him free from infection in the final month of the election.
Trump has previously mocked Biden for wearing a mask. During the first presidential debate, he said, “When needed, I wear masks. I don’t wear masks like [Biden], every time you see him he’s got a mask.”