Former Vice President Joe Biden attended a Memorial Day ceremony with wife Dr. Jill Biden, marking the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's first public appearance in two months. His decision to wear a mask to the wreath-laying ceremony drew instant comparisons to President Donald Trump's ongoing refusal to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans to wear face masks in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Biden, 77, and Jill, 68, left their Wilmington, Delaware home together to lay a wreath at a veterans memorial park near his home. Both Bidens wore black face masks, and were accompanied by Secret Service agents. Biden only made brief remarks, and saluted the list of names on the memorial. "Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made," Biden said, reports the Associated Press. "Never, ever forget." Biden later told reporters it felt "great to be out here," although his works were muffled by the face mask.
Meanwhile, Trump appeared at back-to-back events at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and Fort McHenry in Baltimore to bring some normalcy to the first major holiday to fall during the coronavirus pandemic. During his remarks in Baltimore, Trump praised the men and women in uniform "on the front lines of our war against this terrible virus" and insisted that the U.S. "will vanquish the virus." He said the country will "rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights," notes the Associated Press.
Joe Biden has left his house for the first time in two months for a Memorial Day visit to the Delaware Memorial Bridge Veterans Memorial Park and lay a wreath. pic.twitter.com/34D4Gd0YcC— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 25, 2020
Trump has notably been defiant when it comes to wearing face masks during the pandemic. On Friday, he visited a Ford plant in Michigan that is now producing personal protective equipment, but he did not wear a mask when talking with reporters. He was photographed wearing a mask with the presidential seal on it backstage though. Trump told reporters he would not wear the mask in front of cameras because he "didn't want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it."
On a day of mourning heroes, the Biden's respectfully wear black mourning clothes & masks.
Trump wears his campaign blue suit & red tie. Melania wears a white coat? Neither respecting the dead who sacrificed. Neither wears a mask with respect for the living either.— Kelley (@andreagail_k) May 25, 2020
During a Yahoo News virtual town hall, Biden criticized Trump for not wearing a mask. "I got my mask," Biden said last week as he held a mask up. "I can’t walk outside my house [without wearing one] because the Secret Service is there. They’re all wearing their masks. They’re all getting tested. Come on."
@LindseyGrahamSC @JoeBiden @DrBiden @realDonaldTrump @FLOTUS @vp Thank You VP Biden and Mrs Biden for showing America the true respect given to our Fallen Military during this COVID19 pandemic by wearing masks. Not just a photo op like Trump and troop did. God Bless You Both https://t.co/xYdunMLqxu— Linda (@llharley1991) May 25, 2020
I know it’s #MemorialDay2020 but it’s not a funeral. The Biden’s looked silly in masks & downright depressing in all black. @POTUS wore a red tie and @FLOTUS looked stunning. Today we honor, not mourn. Dems see (are) the very worst of everything. Trump’s optimism is what we need.— Bauer’s Mom ❤️ (@CSLovely) May 25, 2020
See, that is how you set an example.
Wearing a mask and how you honor Memorial Day.— Samir (@PackersFavreFan) May 25, 2020
May 30th is the five year anniversary of Beau’s passing. They are a military family! This photo gives me the feels.— Simon4Biden (@sassyair) May 25, 2020