- The Washington Times - Monday, May 25, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden made his first public appearance in two months on Memorial Day to honor members of the military who died defending the nation.

The former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, placed a wreath at a veterans park near their home in Delaware on Monday, wearing masks — a move that starkly contrasts with President Trump, who has refused to wear a mask in public during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I feel great to be out here,” Mr. Biden told reporters, his words muffled through his black cloth mask. His visit to the park was unannounced and there was no crowd waiting for him.

But he briefly greeted a county official and another man, both wearing face masks and standing a few feet away. Mr. Biden also yelled to another, larger group standing nearby, “Thank you for your service.”

Mr. Biden has gone to the park for Memorial Day often in the past, his campaign says, though services were canceled Monday.



Mr. Biden was taken off the campaign trail in March because of coronavirus stay-at-home orders. Since canceling a rally in early March, he has been campaigning virtually from a studio inside his house.

Some Democratic strategists have openly worried that Mr. Biden is ceding too much ground to Mr. Trump by staying home. The president himself has criticized Mr. Biden for campaigning from his basement.

Mr. Biden’s first in-person appearance after more than two months suggests he may get back out in the public during the roughly five months that remain ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

Mr. Biden’s campaign officials have said he will get back on the trail to visit battleground states, but they are not in a rush. Instead, they said they will listen to health experts and scientists about when it is safe to return.

Mr. Biden, 77, is in the “vulnerable” category of contracting COVID-19 that health experts are concerned about because of his age. Mr. Trump is in that category too, as he will turn 74 in June.

“We will never make any choices that put our staff or voters in harm’s way,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager.

Mr. Trump, meanwhile, has not held large campaign rallies, either.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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