NATIONWIDE — Joe Biden’s campaign is taking down its attack ads in the wake of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection, according to a Biden campaign official who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity Friday.
The Democrat’s campaign is removing all its negative ads, although in some cases, it may take days for ads already in circulation to stop running. The official says Biden made the decision before news surfaced that Trump was being transferred to a military hospital for a “few days” of treatment.
At least so far, Trump’s campaign has not begun removing any of its attack ads against Biden.
Late Friday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that the president would be traveling to Walter Reed medical center out of “an abundance of caution.”
“President Trump remains in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day,” McEnany said in a statement. “Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days.”
The president’s campaign did postpone all events featuring the president and his family for the foreseeable future.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who revealed he and his wife, Jill, tested negative for the disease on Friday, pressed a bipartisan message in the battleground state of Michigan.
“This cannot be a partisan moment. It must be an American moment. We have to come together as a nation,” Biden declared at a speech in Grand Rapids, warning that the virus “is not going away automatically.”
In order to comply with expert’s recommendations against gathering in crowds, Biden cancelled a subsequent event later in the day.
While Biden vowed to continue his cautious approach to campaigning during the pandemic, the president’s diagnosis injected even greater uncertainty into an election already plagued by crises that have exploded under Trump’s watch: the pandemic, devastating economic fallout and sweeping civil unrest. With millions of Americans already voting, the country on Friday entered uncharted territory that threatened to rattle global markets and political debates around the world.
The development focuses the campaign right where Biden has put his emphasis for months — and where Republicans don’t want it: on Trump’s uneven response to a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 people in the U.S. And for the short term, it’s grounded Trump under quarantine in a hospital, denying him the large public rallies that fuel his campaign just a month before the election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.