A campaign aide said on Monday that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and vice-presidential pick Kamala Harris will be tested for COVID-19 regularly. The campaign is preparing for the possibility of several public events as the 2020 US Presidential election approaches.

The aide told Reuters that, "Consistent with the transparency, ... we will make public if either the (former) Vice President or Senator Harris ever has a confirmed, positive case of COVID-19."

Expansion of Health Protocols

kamala harris
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris Twitter

Since the coronavirus began spreading widely in the United States in March, Biden has done few public events, most of them close to his Delaware home. But following his formal nomination at last week's Democratic National Convention, the campaign is expanding its health protocols in a new phase of the race that could see the former vice president in closer proximity to the public.

The aide said Biden, 77, Harris, 55, and key staff who interact with them would be tested "on a regular basis," in line with the advice of medical advisers. "This is what responsible leadership looks like," the person said. Reporters have frequently asked Biden whether he has been tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and he has always answered no.

Biden's Adherence to Safety Guidelines

He has criticized President Donald Trump's handling of the virus, which has killed more than 176,000 Americans, as disastrous. During campaign appearances, many broadcast online, Biden consistently wears masks and maintains the distance to show his adherence to public health guidelines.

By contrast, Trump, 74, who will face Biden in the November 3 election, downplayed the virus in its early stages, once referred to mask-wearing as politically correct and has been reluctant to wear a face-covering himself. Trump in July wore a mask in public for the first time during the pandemic, a shift in his tone to encourage Americans to wear them as the country began to see a resurgence of cases.

(With inputs from agencies)