Joe Biden's presidential campaign is responding to the news that President Donald Trump and his wife, First Lady Melania Trump, both tested positive for COVID-19. According to NBC News (via Yahoo), Biden said on Friday that his campaign would be taking down any negative television ads in light of the president's illness. Although he will be pulling these ads, Biden is set to push forward with his campaign, as there is currently less than one month until the presidential election.
Many Democrats have expressed that Biden will need to tread carefully during his campaign amidst Trump's positive coronavirus diagnosis, which has seen him go to the hospital for treatment. However, they also believe that Biden should press ahead with his campaign and that he should continue to note that the president did not address the coronavirus pandemic as best that he could. Ben LaBolt, a former aide to President Barack Obama, said, "Suspending the campaign would be a disservice to the country and there is no reason to do it." LaBolt added that voters are concerned with the country's response to the coronavirus crisis and the fact that there have been many in the president's close circle who have tested positive for COVID-19 showcases his administration's "failure" to address this pandemic accurately.
"One of the judgments voters are making is which candidate would have better managed the response to the coronavirus and who has the leadership to lead us out of this national emergency," LaBolt continued. "While we should wish the president a healthy recovery, his diagnosis is a visible demonstration of a failure of leadership at every level of this White House." Before Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, he frequently mocked Biden for wearing a mask and for taking safety precautions seriously. He even did so on Tuesday during the first presidential debate. Trump said at the time, "I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from me, and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."
On early Friday morning, Trump wrote via Twitter that he and his wife tested positive for COVID-19. The news came shortly after Hope Hicks, one of the top aides to the president, tested positive for the illness. Trump subsequently went to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday afternoon for treatment. It's currently unclear how the president is doing, as there has been some conflicting information on that account. But, the president's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, did issue a statement in which he noted that Trump's battle with COVID-19 is not over just yet. He said, "The president's vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We're still not on a clear path to a full recovery."