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Biden: "This is not a matter of politics"

White House

Former Vice President Joe Biden started a campaign event in Grand Rapids Friday by saying he’s praying for President Donald Trump and the first lady.

“My wife Jill and I pray that they will make a full and complete recovery,” Biden told reporters, referring to the president’s positive test for COVID-19.

President Donald Trump will spend the next few days undergoing treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.

The White House doctor says the president remains "fatigued" after contracting COVID-19 and has been injected with a special combination of drugs. Trump is being treated with an experimental antibody cocktail for the virus that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and now has spread to the highest reaches of the U.S. government.

Trump tweeted early Friday that he and first lady Melania Trump were suffering "mild symptoms" of the disease after testing positive. Trump, who has downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic all year, announced his positive test after attending a Thursday fundraiser knowing he had been exposed to an aide who had tested positive.

The Democratic presidential nominee’s west Michigan campaign stop was scheduled before President Donald Trump’s positive COVID test was revealed early Friday morning.     

Before travelling to Michigan, Biden was tested twice for the virus. Both tests were negative.

“This is not a matter of politics,” says Biden. “It’s a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously.”

The former vice president says concerns about the virus prompted the campaign to cancel one of two events planned in Grand Rapids Friday.

The president’s positive COVID test is expected to disrupt what was expected to be a hectic final month of campaigning in Michigan. The state is seen as pivotal to both parties’ hopes of winning the White House in November.

Biden says “This is not a matter of politics.”

But politics did also come up during Biden’s campaign stop. The former vice president pledged to create jobs and increase taxes on the wealthy. 

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Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.