President Donald Trump needled his Democratic rival Joe Biden on Friday for limiting his campaign appearances to virtual events from the basement of his home in Delaware.
“I’d love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak,” Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
The president made his first trip out of Washington in more than a month this week.
Trump, who relies on a federal supply of coronavirus tests to maintain a traditional schedule, said he’d be willing to provide Biden with that test as well if that helped resume normal campaign activities.
He offered to supply Biden with a rapid COVID-19 testing system. If Biden’s team asked for the tests, the president said, “We would have it to them today.”
There was no immediate response to Trump’s offer from the Biden campaign.
Trump is eager to resume normal campaigning, which has come to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic.
His rallies are a hallmark of his campaign and help energize his base and provide his team with crucial data that will be used to turn out supporters in the fall.
Biden, meanwhile, is thought to connect more effectively with people in smaller settings and has struggled with large rallies and even virtual events.
The presumptive Democratic nominee’s online rally Thursday was skewered as a technical disaster.
The Biden campaign’s virtual rally is going great! pic.twitter.com/m1AhE48CU5
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) May 7, 2020
The candidate’s own audio was going in and out and all glitchy. How can a national campaign allow this to happen? Do they not have Zoom?
— Evan Axelbank Fox13 (@EvanAxelbank) May 7, 2020
Loud squawking bird repeatedly steals the show, makes the most sense during Biden virtual rally pic.twitter.com/UbwdK3CLRB
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 7, 2020
Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and anyone they come into close contact with are now being tested daily for COVID-19 after one of the president’s valets tested positive for the virus this week.
The availability of the tests has allowed Trump and Pence to resume a travel schedule and to host business leaders, medical professionals and lawmakers for meetings.
The stockpile of the rapid testing machines, which provide individual results in 5 to 15 minutes, is largely controlled by the federal government.
The president on Tuesday personally delivered boxes of test kits to the Navajo Nation, flying them on Air Force One on his trip to Phoenix.
Responding to concerns raised last week by Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of the U. S. Congress, that his office did not have the capacity to test all lawmakers returning to Washington, Trump directed that Congress be provided with three of the testing machines.
But in a rare joint statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell rejected Trump’s offer, directing the test kits to first responders and others on the front lines of fighting the spread of the virus.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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