How much longer will Democrats hold their tongues?
Team Biden has been considering that question in the hours following the president’s seismic news announcement. Shortly before 1 a.m., Trump tweeted that he and the first lady had tested positive, as have more than 7.3 million Americans before him. The Democratic campaign had to make a decision: Would they shame their opponent, who only three days earlier mirthlessly needled Biden for wearing “the biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” even though the two were more than six feet apart.
Isn’t it only fair? Eventually it might be, but in the first hours after the announcement, Biden stuck to the high road. As of late Friday afternoon, there has been no “I told you so.” His campaign has only said two things on the record. Both came in tweets. The first was from the vice president, his wife Jill Biden and their family, who wished the president and the first lady “a swift recovery.” They offered their prayers for the first family, not a rebuke.
Some Republicans still saw a subtle slight because Biden, in their estimation, was silent for too long. He passed along his best wishes eight hours after Trump broke the news. Several hours earlier, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who had a bout with COVID-19 himself — had wished his U.S. counterpart a “speedy recovery,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin had done the same, expressing “sincere support in this difficult moment.”