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Biden denies he's 'hiding,' defends staying off campaign trail in person

The former vice president chided President Donald Trump for not wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: FILES-US-POLITICS-VOTE-BIDEN-ACCUSFormer US Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19, known as the Coronavirus, during a press event in Wilmington, Delaware
Joe Biden speaks about COVID-19 in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden on Tuesday dismissed the idea that being off the physical campaign trail because of the coronavirus is hurting his chances of winning the presidential election.

Biden, the apparent Democratic presidential nominee, was asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" when he expects to get back out on the campaign trail.

"We're on the campaign trail now," Biden said. "Everybody says, you know, 'Biden's hiding.' Well, let me tell you something, we're doing very well. We're following the guidelines of the medical profession. We're following the guidelines of the experts.

"I'm following the rules," he added. "The president should follow the rules instead of showing up to places without masks and the whole thing."

Biden said his campaign is "winning" according to recent polling data, although he said he's not sure how long his lead over President Donald Trump might last ahead of the November election.

"The idea that somehow we are being hurt by my keeping to the rules and following the instructions that have been put forward by the docs is absolutely bizarre," Biden said. "I reject the premise that somehow this is hurting us. There's no evidence of that."

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Biden said he's eager to get out and campaign because he enjoys "interfacing with people." He said that he isn't trying to avoid it but that he wants to "set an example" of how to deal with the crisis.

Biden, wrestling with the new reality of social distancing, has largely been running his campaign out of this basement in Delaware, hosting numerous digital events in recent weeks in which he has interacted virtually with voters and supporters.

As the pandemic swept across the U.S. in March, Biden faced criticism from both the left and the right over his seeming to recede into the background while Trump held daily coronavirus briefings and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did daily briefings, as well, which have been nationally televised.

Biden has since held happy hours with supporters, spoken to people about their struggles due to the pandemic, held virtual fundraisers and appeared for a number of interviews with TV news outlets.

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Trump, meanwhile, hasn't been out on the campaign trail, either, although he has suggested that he is itching to return to it as the country reopens.