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Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus after debate with Trump

Biden has been strict about mask-wearing and social distancing at his in-person campaign events.

Joe Biden speaks with reporters before boarding his plane in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on September 30.
Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, have both tested negative for the coronavirus, his campaign has confirmed.

There were fears Biden had been exposed to the coronavirus at Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland, when he appeared onstage with President Donald Trump. Trump and first lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for the coronavirus, the president announced in a tweet early Friday morning. While it sometimes takes several days for a person to test positive after contracting the virus, the Bidens have initially tested negative.

“Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden underwent PCR testing for COVID-19 today and COVID-19 was not detected,” said the Bidens’ doctor Dr. Kevin O’Connor in a statement. “I am reporting this out in my capacity as both Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden’s primary care physician.”

The Biden campaign has not been informed of possible coronavirus exposure by the White House or the Trump campaign, a senior Biden campaign official told CNN and NBC.

Biden tweeted his well-wishes to the president and first lady on Friday morning.

It’s so far unclear if Trump was contagious during the debate. Biden’s and Trump’s podiums were spaced far apart on the debate stage, which helps reduce the likelihood of exhaled droplets from Trump being inhaled by Biden.

Biden has also been diligent about wearing a mask at his campaign events and public appearances, a fact Trump mocked him for at Tuesday’s debate.

Biden’s campaign has been doing in-person events for a few months, but all events have had small numbers of attendees, all of whom are carefully spaced 6 feet apart and wearing masks. The Bidens have been on a train tour of Midwestern states following Tuesday’s debate.

Joe Biden and his wife Jill speak to reporters before boarding their train in Cleveland on September 30.
Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

The former vice president has also been taking extra personal precautions since this spring, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for limiting one’s exposure to the virus.

“I wash my hands God knows how many times a day with hot water and soap,” Biden said this spring. “I carry with me … as a matter of fact, I have it in my bag outside here … hand sanitizer. I don’t know how many times a day I use that. I make sure I don’t touch my face, and so on. So I’m taking all the precautions we’ve told everybody else to take.”

During a spring Democratic primary debate, Biden told CNN’s moderators that even though he is 77 years old, he does not have any underlying health conditions like diabetes, or heart or lung disease, that can lead to more serious complications.

“Fortunately I don’t have any of the underlying conditions that you talked about, number one,” Biden said. “Number two, thank God — for the time being, anything can happen, knock on wood — I’m in good health.”