Now that President Trump has been tested for coronavirus and the results have thankfully come back negative, it’s time for presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to man up and do the same.
The American people have a right to know if any presidential candidate — no less a front-runner during an election year — has contracted the potentially deadly disease or not.
It’s a matter of national security.
First off, Sanders and Biden both septuagenarians clocking in at a combined 155 years, are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their advanced age. Now adding to the risk factor are the thousands of people both candidates have come into close contact with on the campaign trail the past few months.
How many thousands of hands have they both shook at campaign rallies and events throughout the country in recent weeks? How many pictures and selfies have they taken nationwide — including in coronavirus hotspots like Massachusetts or Washington State?
Knowing that former Vice President Joe Biden has a history of being handsy, it’s reasonable to question how many hugs he’s given to members of the public or has received along the trail potentially exposing himself and others to the contagious disease.
Bernie Sanders is also at high risk given he suffered a heart attack last year. Experts say the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions — including heart disease — are at the gravest risk. So taking all that into consideration one would think both Democratic presidential candidates would be eager to get swabbed.
Not so. On Friday Joe Biden’s campaign said he’s not taken the test and apparently not planning to do so anytime soon. “Vice President Biden has no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath or other symptoms consistent with coronavirus, and the campaign has not been informed of or become aware of any relevant contact with an individual who has tested positive,” Biden’s public health advisory committee said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.
Here’s the problem; people can be infected with the novel virus and not display symptoms for 2 to 14 days according to the Centers for Disease Control. That means scores can be silent carriers of the contagious disease and not even know it. In fact it appears that’s exactly what happened here in Massachusetts last month. The virus was transmitted by people who attended a Biogen conference some of whom did not display symptoms at the time. CNN reports that “more than half a dozen studies have shown that people without symptoms are causing substantial amounts of infection.”
All the more reason Biden and Sanders ought to get tested without delay.