Joe and Jill Biden test negative for coronavirus

Joe Biden
The Democratic nominee, Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 after Trump announced he has coronavirus

Former vice-president Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden tested negative for coronavirus, the Biden campaign announced on Friday morning.

“Vice-President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 today and Covid-19 was not detected. I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice-President Biden and Dr Biden’s primary care physician,” said Dr Kevin O’Connor in a statement released by the Biden campaign.

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The announcement is the latest development since news broke that Donald Trump had tested positive for coronavirus. His wife, Melania Trump; longtime aide Hope Hicks; the Republican party chair, Ronna McDaniel; and Republican senator Mike Lee of Utah have also revealed that they have tested positive for the virus this week.

The news upended the focus of the presidential election and pointed to a reversion of the national discourse back to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Biden campaign was in a wait-and-see mode in response to news of Trump getting the virus. The Biden campaign had not reportedly been notified by either the White House or the Trump campaign that Trump had been infected, despite the fact that Trump tested positive in the days after he and Biden shared a stage in the first presidential debate.

Biden’s campaign trod cautiously in response to the news. His campaign manager, Jenn O’Malley Dillon, sent an email to the entire Biden campaign staff telling them to refrain from posting on social media.

“First, rest assured that our campaign staff, in consultation with health experts have continued to take every precaution to protect Vice President Biden, Sen. Harris, and their spouses and our staff. The health and safety of the entire team has been, and will remain, our number one priority,” O’Malley Dillon wrote in the email, confirmed to the Guardian.

ALSO READ: Donald Trump and wife Melania test positive for coronavirus

It added: “Second, as this situation continues to unfold we ask that you refrain from posting about the situation on social media unless otherwise directed by your manager. We will share additional information and guidance with you as we have it.”

Biden himself tweeted out good wishes to the president.

Biden had a packed schedule for the day. He was slated to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan to campaign and as of Friday morning that trip seemed to be still on, albeit delayed.

A fundraising schedule obtained by the Guardian also listed four big fundraisers for Biden and his main surrogates throughout the day. One included a fundraiser featuring the California senator Kamala Harris, Biden’s running mate, and former president Barack Obama early on Friday evening.

Another virtual fundraiser on Friday featured Biden and the rockstar Jon Bon Jovi. There was no indication to donors that those fundraisers would be changed or rescheduled as of Friday late morning.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, senior advisers to the president, on Friday were reported to have tested negative for the virus.

Top Democrats who had been with Biden over the last few days were also tested for coronavirus. Senator Chris Coons, a close friend of the former vice-president, representing Biden’s home state of Delaware, who was at the debate, tested negative for the virus, his office said.