Joe Biden has no forthcoming plans to continue in-person campaigning amid the coronavirus pandemic that is testing if a national presidential election can be won by a candidate communicating virtually almost entirely from home.
The virtual campaign initiated by Biden from Wilmington, Delaware, is a stark contrast with President Donald Trump, who plans to travel despite warnings from healthcare experts about the coronavirus’s spread. It also puts a question mark on how Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will handle his campaign, with some in his party already fretting that his still-developing approach isn’t reaching a sufficient number of voters.
As of now, Biden and his allies are fighting back hand-wringing from Democrats and mockery from Republicans who say that the 77-year-old is “hiding in his basement.” Biden’s campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon told The Associated Press, “Voters don’t give a s— about where he’s filming from. What they really care about is what he’s saying and how we connect with them.”
Biden was quite diplomatic in handling the situation on Tuesday. “The idea that somehow we are being hurt by my following the rules and instructions that (have) been put forward by doctors is absolutely bizarre,” he commented in ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Since mid-March, O’Malley Dillon has taken the helm of Biden’s campaign, just as coronavirus lockdown began. She recently sped up the campaign’s digital and finance teams and said she’ll reveal battleground state leadership in the coming weeks. She also referred to budding “partnerships” that consist of the national party’s battleground state program.
But these moves haven’t prevented critiques from prominent Democrats, including the architects of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, who question Biden’s digitally-savvy capacity to build the national vote-by-mail effort that might be necessary to win during a pandemic.