Leaving his home in Wilmington, Del., for his first public trip anywhere since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered much of the country two months ago, former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill made an unannounced visit on Monday to attend a Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee wore a black mask covering his mouth and nose during the ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park at the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle, which is a short drive from Biden's home.
The Bidens placed a wreath of white flowers at the memorial, briefly spoke with the retired adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard, and saluted a small group of veterans before returning to their nearby motorcade, according to a press pool report.
“Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever forget,” Biden told reporters during the somber ceremony to honor members of the military killed while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
The brief stop to mark the holiday was the first time the former vice president’s left his Wilmington property since mid-March, when the pandemic forced most Americans to huddle in their homes in order to prevent the spread of the virus. The last public event Biden held outside his home was a March 12 briefing on the coronavirus with reporters at a hotel in Wilmington.
"It feels good to be out of my house," Biden told reporters.
Pushing back against criticism from President Trump and his allies that he’s hiding in the basement of his home in Delaware during the coronavirus crisis, Biden emphasized two weeks ago that he’s “following the guidelines” by campaigning online and argued that he’s “winning” right now in his general election faceoff with the GOP incumbent in the White House.
“We’re on the campaign trail now. Everybody says ‘Biden’s hidin.’ Let me tell you something, we’re doing very well. We’re following the guidelines of the medical profession. We’re following the guidelines of the experts, the Dr. Faucis of the world,” Biden said in an interview on ABC’s "Good Morning America."
With most Americans following social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, all large-scale events and gatherings have been scrapped, which has made holding traditional campaign events like rallies and town halls impossible. Political campaigns have improvised, holding their interactions with voters and supporters and their fundraisers virtually.
After mostly staying at the White House for a month and a half, the president has made three coronavirus-related official White House trips to three crucial general election battleground states the past three weeks.