Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday flouted COVID-19 social distancing norms and shook hands with an aide on the tarmac as he arrived in Wisconsin to meet with residents of riot-torn Kenosha.
In a scene reminiscent of campaigning before the coronavirus pandemic struck in March, Biden extended his hands toward advance staffer Brian McPartlin at Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport.
Both wore face masks amid the coronavirus no-no.
Biden, 77, rarely travels due to the pandemic, instead working from a home office in his Wilmington, Delaware, basement. This week, he made another trip, to Pittsburgh, where he slammed President Trump’s handling of anti-police brutality protests.
Biden routinely faults Trump’s handling of COVID-19. Trump, meanwhile, often describes Biden as having impaired mental faculties.
After the handshake, Biden met with the family of Jacob Blake, 29, whose shooting by police and possible paralysis last month sparked rioting and arson that ravaged the small city. He also addressed a meeting of community leaders, where he spoke with a mask but at one point apologized for encroaching on his audience’s space.
As president, Trump was criticized in March for continuing to shake hands instead of adopting the “chicken wing” elbow bump encouraged by health officials and readily embraced by Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump has rarely shaken hands in recent months, and publicly mused about permanently doing away with the social nicety, to guard against germs even when the pandemic passes.
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