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Joe Biden Tests Negative for Coronavirus, Urges Americans to Wear a Mask and Keep Social Distance

Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to attendees at an outdoor

Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to attendees at an outdoor "Black Economic Summit" while campaigning in Charlotte, North Carolina, on September 23, 2020. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Donald Trump had earlier tested positive, with his chief of staff saying the president was experiencing "mild symptoms" of Covid-19.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday said he has tested negative for Covid-19, three days after his debate with Donald Trump, who has contracted the illness. The 77-year-old former vice president opted to maintain a scheduled trip to Michigan, a key battleground state in his campaign to unseat the Republican incumbent.

Biden is currently leading Trump in opinion polls ahead of the November 3 election.

"I'm happy to report that Jill and I have tested negative for Covid," Biden said. "I hope this serves as a reminder: wear a mask, keep social distance, and wash your hands."

Minutes before, his doctor Kevin O'Connor issued a statement via Biden's campaign about the negative result. "Vice President Joe Biden and Dr Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for Covid-19 today and Covid-19 was not detected," he said.

Trump's positive diagnosis -- announced in the early hours of Friday after one of his senior aides, Hope Hicks, tested positive -- has jolted the race for the White House with a month to go.

In Michigan, a Midwestern state Trump won in 2016 when he defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton, Biden was to visit Grand Rapids, the state's second-largest city, to talk about his economic revitalization plans. Earlier, he wished his 74-year-old adversary and his wife Melania a swift recovery from Covid-19.

"Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery," Biden tweeted. "We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family."

Biden's running mate Kamala Harris put out a similar tweet, saying she and her husband Doug are "keeping them and the entire Trump family in our thoughts."

Vice President Mike Pence has tested negative, his spokesman said Friday.

Biden and Trump met on the debate stage in Ohio on Tuesday.

Everyone in attendance had tested negative before the debate. Trump's family arrived in masks, but later removed them, moderator Chris Wallace said. It can take several days for a person infected with Covid-19 to test positive.


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