By James Oliphant
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in an interview that aired on Sunday that he had no plans to begin a more aggressive campaign schedule with little more than two months to go before the Nov. 3 election.
Asked if he could win a presidential election from his Delaware home, Biden answered: “We will.”
Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, gave their first interview together to ABC News. “We’re going to follow the science, what the scientists tell us,” Biden said.
Biden, 77, who leads Republican President Donald Trump in opinion polls, has restricted his campaign travel and avoided crowds since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, culminating in last week’s virtual Democratic convention, in which Biden accepted his party’s presidential nomination from an empty hotel ballroom in Delaware.
By contrast, Trump, 74, has mounted an increasingly aggressive travel schedule, travelling last week to the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. On Monday, Trump will accept the Republican nomination in person in Charlotte, North Carolina, at his party’s convention.
Biden was critical of Trump’s travel. “Look what happened with his events. People die, people get together, they don't wear masks, they end up getting COVID,” he said.
There has been no direct link between a Trump campaign event and an outbreak of the virus, although health officials in Oklahoma said a surge in cases there was likely connected to a Trump rally held at a Tulsa arena in June. Since then, Trump has staged open-air events with small crowds.
Trump and his allies have ridiculed Biden for staying home rather than campaigning, saying he is hiding in his “basement.”
Biden and Harris, a former presidential candidate, downplayed their highly publicized clash during a Democratic debate last year – and both pushed back at the Trump campaign’s suggestions that she has dragged Biden to the left on policy.
Saying that any differences between them were on tactics, Biden said: “I don’t think we have any disagreement on the basic question of what we have to do as a nation.”
(Reporting by James Oliphant; Editing by Peter Cooney)