Photos show inside Joe Biden's socially distant presidential campaign

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ncolarossi@businessinsider.com (Natalie Colarossi)
·10 min read
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Joe Biden social distance.JPG
Journalists maintain physical distance while Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at a recreation center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on June 25, 2020.
  • In his presidential campaign during the coronavirus pandemic, former Vice President Joe Biden has prioritized social distancing and adhering to health guidelines.

  • By contrast, President Donald Trump has held large indoor rallies and campaign events with few coronavirus precautions.

  • Biden has been critical of Trump's approach at handling the coronavirus pandemic, and has vowed to take an entirely different response to keep Americans safe.

  • These photos take a look inside Biden's socially distant campaign strategy, which includes following the advice of health experts, wearing a mask in public, and maintaining social distance.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has taken on a wildly different approach at campaigning through the coronavirus pandemic from President Donald Trump.

Rather than holding large, indoor rallies with few health precautions, the former vice president has made a point to maintain social distance, wear a mask in public, and limit the number of people he shares a room with.

Biden has been outwardly critical of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic since March, and his campaign strategy showcases his desire to treat the pandemic differently from the Trump administration, namely, by following the guidance of public health experts and making an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

These photos show how Biden has centered his in-person campaigning around small, socially distant gatherings. This week, Biden will accept the Democratic nomination from Delaware at the party's virtual convention.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been playing it safe.

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Workers separated for social distancing because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic listen to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as he speaks about the U.S. economy during an outdoor campaign event at McGregor Industries, a metal works plant that manufactures stairs and stair railings, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 9, 2020.

Rather than holding large, indoor rallies, Biden has been campaigning in small, socially distant groups.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks about President Donald Trump's response to protests and rioting across the United States as he stands under photos of former Philadelphia mayors during an event at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 2, 2020.

Source: Washington Post

When the former vice president holds press conferences, journalists have their own circles to maintain physical distance.

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Journalists maintain physical distance while Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Biden campaign event at a recreation center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 25, 2020.

Source: Washington Post

During public appearances, Biden is seen wearing a mask and sitting at a distance from others.

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U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden wears a protective face mask during a visit to the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. June 1, 2020.

In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Biden held a campaign event outdoors, and was seated six feet away from others as he answered questions about healthcare.

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Joe Biden, Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former vice president, meets with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and delivers remarks on health care during a campaign stop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 25, 2020.

Source: Washington Post

During that campaign event, only five citizens were in attendance.

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Joe Biden, Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former vice president, meets with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and delivers remarks on health care during a campaign stop in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S. June 25, 2020.

Similarly, in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, Biden met with just a few citizens during a table discussion, in which people were spaced at a distance from one another.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden meets with customers at the sports bar Carlette?s Hideaway during a campaign stop in Yeadon, Pennsylvania U.S., June 17, 2020.

This "less is more" technique falls in direct opposition to Trump's strategy, which has included holding indoor rallies in tightly packed spaces.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden listens to Carlette Brooks as she wipes away tears and talks about the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on her family and their small businesses on the outside patio of the Carlette’s Hideaway sports bar during a campaign stop in Yeadon, Pennsylvania U.S., June 17, 2020

Source: Washington Post

During that same week, Trump held an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his staffers reportedly removed labels encouraging social distance and the venue said they failed to provide a timely plan to keep people safe.

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President Donald Trump points at the crowd as he enters his first re-election campaign rally at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, 2020.

Sources: Billboard Magazine, Business Insider

Biden has repeatedly criticized Trump's coronavirus response and called his campaign strategy "dangerous."

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Attendees listen as Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Biden campaign event at a recreation center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 25, 2020.

Source: Business Insider, Washington Post

Here, the presidential hopeful is seen in a sparsely occupied church during a campaign event in Delaware.

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Pastor of the Bethel AME Church, Rev. Dr. Silvester S. Beaman stands next to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as he listens to a prayer during a visit to the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. June 1, 2020.

Though fewer Americans have been able to listen to Biden speak in person, polls throughout the summer have shown his approval rating expand, as Trump's falls.

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Workers separated for social distancing because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic listen to Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden as he speaks about the U.S. economy during a campaign event at McGregor Industries, a metal works plant that manufactures stairs and stair railings, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 9, 2020.

Source: Washington Post

In this photo, Biden is seen communicating with a young child as onlookers and the press maintain their distance.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden talks to a young child while surrounded by U.S. Secret Service agents and news media as he visits the neighborhood where he grew up while campaigning in Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 9, 2020.

Biden even put news conferences — aside from one-on-one interviews — on hold for three months, beginning in March. It wasn't until June 30 that he took questions in public from the media.

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An attendee listens as Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the U.S. economy during a campaign event at McGregor Industries, a metal works plant that manufactures stairs and stair railings, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 9, 2020.

Source: Business Insider

"Wear a mask," Biden said at a campaign event, after criticizing Trump for not doing so. "It's not just about you [...] It's about keeping other people safe. It may be inconvenient. It may be uncomfortable. But it's the right thing to do as an American. Protect your coworkers and neighbors."

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden wears a protective face mask as he tours the assembly line at McGregor Industries, a metal works plant that manufactures stairs and stair railings, in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 9, 2020.

Source: Business Insider

Before giving a speech, staff members are seen disinfecting his microphone and podium.

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A staff member disinfects the microphone before Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Biden campaign event at a recreation center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 25, 2020.

One journalist for The New York Times reported getting her temperature taken by a staff member before a campaign event, and noting that nearly everyone in attendance wore a mask.

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Caliph Mathis II sanitizes the podium for Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, because of the coronavirus disease pandemic, before Biden arrived to speak about his plans for tackling climate change during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., July 14, 2020.

Source: The New York Times

Biden has targeted Trump for sending mixed signals, rejecting advice from public health officials, and for failing to take responsibility and lead the country through the pandemic.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden holds up his protective face mask as he speaks about the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 30, 2020.

Source: Business Insider

In his coronavirus response, he advocates for free nationwide testing and contact-tracing, social distancing, wearing masks in public, and amplifying the voices of public health experts.

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Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden puts his protective face mask back on and adjusts it as he departs after speaking about President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and answering questions from reporters during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 30, 2020.

Source: Business Insider

On July 23, the Biden campaign released "A Socially Distanced Conversation" with former President Barack Obama, where they discussed their concerns with Trump's response and how Biden could do it better.

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Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden released the campaign video "A Socially Distanced Conversation" on July 23, 2020.

After announcing his vice presidential pick was Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Biden appeared with her at an event in Delaware on August 12. They and their spouses wore masks.

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) arrive to deliver remarks at the Alexis Dupont High School on August 12, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Masked supporters cheered outside the venue in Delaware, and press inside were placed in socially distanced circles.

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People wait for the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, and vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, at a campaign event, their first joint appearance since Biden named Harris as his running mate, at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, on August 12, 2020.

Source: AP

The next day, Biden and Harris had a virtual briefing on the coronavirus pandemic from public health experts. Biden said he gets these briefings four times a week.

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Presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris receive a virtual briefing on COVID-19 from public health experts in Wilmington, Delaware, on Aug. 13, 2020.

Source: Axios

This week, the Democratic National Convention, which was supposed to be held in Milwaukee, will be held virtually. Biden is scheduled to accept the party's nomination from Delaware on Thursday.

Democratic National Convention DNC Milwaukee Wisconsin
A worker wearing a protective face shield waits to enter the Wisconsin Center, the site of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), which will be a largely virtual event due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 17, 2020.

Source: DNC

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