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Joe Biden in Michigan says he hopes first family recovers soon

Biden says he prays for Trump's recovery
Biden says he prays for Trump's recovery 03:58

Joe Biden wished President Trump and the first lady a speedy recovery from COVID-19 on Friday, speaking from the campaign trail in Michigan after his own campaign announced that Biden tested negative for the coronavirus

"I'd like to just start by acknowledging which I'm sure all of you do as well, sending my prayers for the health and safety of the first lady and the president, president of the United States after they tested positive for COVID 19. My wife Jill and I pray that they'll make a quick and full recovery," he said. "This is not a matter of politics. It's a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously. It's not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible."

Biden also told supporters in Michigan that he was late because he was waiting for the results of his COVID-19 testing. 

"I got two COVID tests this morning, one in Delaware and one by the former White House doc who came up and everything's clear," he said. "We wanted to make sure everything was clear before I came."

He underwent testing after President Trump announced early Friday morning that he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19. Biden and Mr. Trump clashed in an acrimonious first presidential debate on Tuesday. The two men did not shake hands on stage, a change in debate format because of the pandemic.

Mr. Trump mocked Biden at the debate for wearing a mask at all of his public appearances.

"I put a mask on, you know, when I think I need it. Tonight is an example, everybody has had a test," Mr. Trump said. "I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask." He added that Biden "could be speaking 200 feet away" and then "shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen."

The president has also scoffed at Biden for opting to make frequent virtual campaign appearances, claiming incorrectly that Biden was holed up in his basement.

Biden, who usually gives speeches while distant from others without a mask, wore a mask as he spoke on Friday. 

"I hope that all those who are fighting this virus, including the first family and so many Americans today, recover and recover soon," he said. And he referred to the news of the president's infection "a reminder that we, as a nation, need to do better in dealing with this pandemic."

Biden echoed medical experts in saying that mask-wearing is important to protect everyone as much as possible. He also pressed for more broadly available regular COVID-19 testing.

"The seriousness of this virus also underscores that we need regular testing with results turned around rapidly and that's available to everyone," Biden said. "It's not just the folks in the White House or who travel with me who deserve regular testing. It's folks in the meatpacking and food processing plants. Grocery store workers. Every single American deserves safety and peace of mind."

The Democratic presidential nominee and his physician announced his own negative test results earlier Friday. 

"Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected," their physician, Kevin O'Connor, said in a statement. "I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden's primary care physician."

Biden's campaign event in Grand Rapids was billed as a speech about rebuilding the economy for working families.

Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, and her husband have also tested negative for the virus.

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