Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was quick to decry President Trump’s crucial early decision to clamp down on travel from China amid growing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, and even after acknowledging that such travel restrictions were necessary, Biden has continued to accuse Trump of pushing “xenophobia” through his coronavirus policies and rhetoric.
In a virtual campaign speech Monday delivered to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Victory Fund, Biden again accused Trump of racially inflammatory actions and rhetoric, but the speech, like most of Biden’s virtual “events,” did not go as planned.
As reported by The Hill and pointed out by various folks online, despite being delivered safely from the controlled confines of his Delaware home, Biden’s livestreamed virtual campaign speech Monday ended up being marked by “repeated interruptions” and distractions, including honking Canadian geese, a Secret Service member seen lurking in the background, and a ringing cell phone.
“The pandemic has unleashed familiar forces of hate, fear and xenophobia that he always flames,” Biden told the AAPI Victory Fund in the live-streamed speech. While that bigotry has “always existed in this society,” said Biden, “this president brought it with him, has brought with it a new rash of racial messages, verbal and physical attacks and other acts of hate, some subtle, some overt, against the Asian American and Pacific Islanders.”
But while he delivered his racially charged rebuke of the president, Biden’s supposedly controlled virtual environment conspired against him.
“A few distractions as Biden speaks: Canadian geese honking, birds chirping, iPhone ringing, Secret Service agent standing in the background,” Bloomberg News political reporter Jennifer Epstein pointed out in a social media post Monday.
A few distractions as Biden speaks: Canadian geese honking, birds chirping, iPhone ringing, Secret Service agent standing in the background. pic.twitter.com/yjOGSbQX8o
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) May 18, 2020
Also noting the “aggressive geese” disrupting Biden’s attempt to present a more measured and tolerant alternative to Trump, Washington Post national political reporter Matt Viser highlighted one of the benefits that Biden’s virtual campaign has offered him: the ability to isolate himself from outside criticism.
“Joe Biden’s remarks are interrupted repeatedly by aggressive geese in the background, who are honking loudly over him,” wrote Viser, in a post noted by The Hill. “It’s the closest thing to a protest he’s faced in months, when antagonists interrupted his events and Jill Biden blocked their path and guided them offstage.”
Joe Biden’s remarks are interrupted repeatedly by aggressive geese in the background, who are honking loudly over him. It’s the closest thing to a protest he’s faced in months, when antagonists interrupted his events and Jill Biden blocked their path and guided them offstage.
— Matt Viser (@mviser) May 18, 2020
As noted by several people online, this isn’t the first time the geese have interrupted the former Vice President during one of his virtual appearances. During a virtual roundtable with Democratic governors — including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, who are enmeshed in battles with angry residents over their “tyrannical” lockdown orders — the “aggressive geese” could be heard in the background, and Biden joked that they were trying to get away from the coronavirus.
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