The Biden campaign will reportedly pull negative campaign ads against President Donald Trump on Friday, a decision that comes after Trump revealed that he and First Lady Melania Trump had been diagnosed with COVID-19.
According to multiple media reports, the Biden campaign decided to pull the negative ads after the president tested positive for coronavirus, but before the Trump administration revealed that the president would be taken to Walter Reed Medical Center “out of an abundance of caution.”
(ABC) Joe Biden’s campaign is pulling all negative ads in light of Pres. Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, a source tells @ABC News.
The decision was made before the Walter Reed development.
— Tony Morrison 🏳️🌈 • ABC News (@THETonyMorrison) October 2, 2020
NEWS: @JoeBiden is taking down his negative ads, going all-positive, per source familiar.
Decision was made *before* WH put out word Trump was going to Walter Reed
— Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) October 2, 2020
Earlier this week, the Biden campaign had pounced on the president by creating attack ads that focused on Trump’s tax returns, which were the subject of a recently published long-running New York Times investigation, according to Yahoo News.
According to CBS News, the decision to pull the ads was made by Biden and his advisors, and they will remain down for an unspecified period of time. It’s not clear how long it will take for the ads to come down.
The Trump campaign has declined to pull negative ads of Biden, telling Forbes News in a statement: “Joe Biden used his speech in Michigan today to attack President Trump. He’s in no position to say anything.” The Trump campaign also told CNN: “Joe Biden used his speech in MI today to attack the President repeatedly on Social Security, the economy & job creation. Now Biden wants credit for being magnanimous?”
NEW: Trump campaign indicates it will not join @JoeBiden in pulling negative ads.
“Joe Biden used his speech in Michigan today to attack President Trump. He’s in no position to say anything,” @TimMurtaugh tells me.
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 2, 2020
Trump comms director Tim Murtaugh tells @ryanobles & me they won’t pull negative ads, even though Biden did. “Joe Biden used his speech in MI today to attack the President repeatedly on Social Security, the economy & job creation. Now Biden wants credit for being magnanimous?”
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) October 2, 2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the president was “in good spirits, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day.”
Bloomberg News reporter Jordan Fabian shared a video of the president walking toward Marine One, on his own, for transportation to the hospital. According to McEnany, Trump will be working out of Walter Reed’s presidential offices for the next few days.
President Trump walks out of the White House under his own power to Marine One before heading to Walter Reed, followed by Mark Meadows pic.twitter.com/Rve6Yqg1IH
— Jordan Fabian (@Jordanfabian) October 2, 2020
During a press conference on Friday afternoon, Democratic nominee Joe Biden acknowledged the president’s diagnosis and said he was “sending my prayers for the health and safety of the first lady and President of the United States.”
“My wife Jill and I pray that they’ll make a quick and full recovery. This is not a matter of politics. It’s a bracing reminder to all of us that we have to take this virus seriously,” he said. “It’s not going away automatically. We have to do our part to be responsible.”
This cannot be a partisan moment.
It must be an American moment.
We have to come together as a nation.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 2, 2020
The New York Times, citing “two sources close” to the president, reported Trump has a low-grade fever, nasal congestion, and a cough. White House Physician Sean Conley, D.O, said in a statement that the president had received “a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail” as a precaution, in addition to “zinc, Vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin, and a daily aspirin.”
According to Time Magazine, the antibody cocktail has not been approved by the FDA but has shown promising results so far.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include statements from the Trump campaign.