Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis is a "bracing reminder" that the pandemic needs to be taken seriously, as he campaigned on Friday in the battleground state of Michigan.
Speaking at a union hall in Grand Rapids hours after testing negative twice for the coronavirus, Biden said he and his wife, Jill Biden, were praying that Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, had a swift and full recovery.
Biden, who met in a one-on-one debate with Trump on Tuesday night, and his wife Jill tested negative for coronavirus on Friday, their doctor said in a statement.
Biden also urged all Americans to wear masks to slow the spread of the disease. He implicitly criticized the Republican president, who has played down the deadliness of the virus, frequently eschews masks, and has held huge campaign rallies with little social distancing.
"Be patriotic," Biden said. "It's not about being a tough guy. It's about doing your part."
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign on Friday said that all previously announced campaign events involving U.S. President Donald Trump would be moved to a virtual setting or temporarily postponed after he tested positive for COVID-19.
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The campaign in a statement also said that previously announced events involving members of the Trump family are temporarily postponed, with other events being considered on a case-by-case basis. Vice President Mike Pence, who has tested negative for the coronavirus, plans to resume his scheduled campaign events, the statement said.
After the result was announced, Biden headed to the airport, where he was scheduled to travel to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a campaign event.
"I'm happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for COVID," Biden said on Twitter. "Thank you to everyone for your messages of concern. I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."
Biden earlier sent well wishes to Trump, his rival in the November 3 presidential election, who is experiencing mild symptoms after testing positive for coronavirus.
The White House and his election campaign were scrambling to adjust to the bombshell development.
Officials in New Jersey and Minnesota on Friday urged hundreds of people who attended Trump's campaign events in those states this week to get tested for COVID-19.
Trump, who has played down the threat of the coronavirus pandemic from the outset, said that he and his wife Melania were going into quarantine after testing positive for the virus just hours after hosting a fundraising event in Bedminster, New Jersey.
On Wednesday, Trump held an outdoor campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota with hundreds of attendees. Video shows Trump tossing campaign caps into the crowd, not all of whom were wearing masks.