Biden Lays Memorial Wreath in First Public Event Since Virus

May 26, 2020by Jennifer Epstein, Bloomberg News (TNS)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, leave Delaware Memorial Bridge Veteran's Memorial Park after paying their respects to fallen service members in Newcastle, Delaware, May 25, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Joe Biden emerged Monday from his stay-at-home lockdown after more than 10 weeks to mark Memorial Day with a tribute to veterans.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Jill, visited the Veterans Memorial Park at the Delaware Memorial Bridge to lay a wreath of white roses. Both wore black masks over their mouths and noses.

Biden’s wearing of personal protective gear stood in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has made a show of flouting local standards by skipping a mask at events outside the White House.

The visit was Biden’s first public trip since he said he would abide by the state’s coronavirus rules and the advice of health experts. He and his wife placed a wreath of white roses and stood solemnly for a moment or two of silence before walking back toward their car.

“It feels good to be out of my house,” he told reporters. He also shouted “thanks for your service” and saluted some veterans standing about 50 feet away.

“Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever, ever forget,” he said.

Since his last public appearance on March 12, he’s secured the Democratic nomination and begun shifting into general election mode, appearing on television and livestreams from his Wilmington, Del., home.

When he interacts with anyone other than his wife Jill — including Secret Service and campaign staff — he wears a mask and gloves and maintains social distance.

While Biden is just beginning to negotiate appearances outside of his home as the rates of coronavirus cases and deaths slow across much of the country, Trump is picking up the pace of his travel beyond the White House grounds. He’s begun making weekly trips to battleground states to see virus relief efforts and spent Saturday and Sunday on the links at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va.

Biden has led Trump in recent national polls. He was up by six points in a Fox News poll conducted May 17-20 and by 11 points in a Quinnipiac University poll conducted May 14-18.

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©2020 Bloomberg News

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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