Joe Biden’s chartered airplanes and SUVs are meticulously sprayed with disinfectant and scrubbed. The microphones, lecterns and folders he uses are wiped down in the moments before his arrival. News reporters covering the campaign have their temperature taken. People he meets are scanned in advance with thermometer wands and guests at his events are cordoned off in precise locations mapped out with a tape measure.

The former vice president is seldom without a mask when in public or around anyone other than his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. Access to their home is limited to only a few staffers — and when they’re inside, each wears a mask, including Biden. The level of discipline is such that at times when someone stops to take a drink of water, that person will turn their head away from the others to reduce the chances of scattering droplets, according to campaign aides…

The rationale behind the painstaking attention to safety is both personal and political. For months, aides have privately acknowledged being concerned about his health. At 77, Biden is more susceptible to the virus that causes Covid-19 and his advanced age alone puts him at higher risk of serious complications from the illness.

Yet the campaign is also committed to modeling responsible behavior — to avoid undermining their blunt Covid-19 messaging and sharpen the contrast with Donald Trump, who, at the big, non-socially distanced events the president has resumed holding around the country, delights in deriding Biden for frequently wearing a mask.