Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Friday met in person with the Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate despite new recommendations not to travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), 80, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), 69, traveled to Wilmington, Delaware, to convene with Biden, who has declared victory in the presidential election and is busy making appointments and policy plans in the event he ends up winning.
Biden, who turned 78 on Nov. 20, welcomed the lawmakers despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health officials against traveling for Thanksgiving because of the increase in cases of the disease in the United States.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. It kills a small percentage of patients.
Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer fall into one of the two groups of people most at risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 cases if they contract the virus. None have tested positive as of yet.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden (second from left) meets with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) (L), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (R), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 20, 2020. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)
Spokespersons for the lawmakers didn’t respond when asked why the meeting wasn’t conducted remotely, given that many of Biden’s recent meetings have been carried out remotely.
The trio and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Biden’s running mate, met around large tables put together. They appeared to be following social distancing guidelines and all wore masks during the indoor meeting.
During the brief period that reporters were let into the room, Biden told Pelosi and Schumer that “in my Oval Office, mi casa, you casa.”
“I hope we’re going to spend a lot of time together,” he added.
Biden was asked whether he supports reopening schools, but instead of answering the question, he attacked the reporter who asked it.
“Why are you the only guy that always shouts out questions?” he said.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden waves to supporters as he leaves the Queen Theater after he held a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), in Wilmington, Del., on Nov. 20, 2020. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The White House Coronavirus Task Force said earlier this week that it is safe for children to learn in-person with proper measures in place even amid the pandemic, and that schools never needed to close.
According to a joint readout of the meeting in Delaware, Biden, Harris, Pelosi, and Schumer discussed the surges in COVID-19 infection rates and the corresponding economic strain suffered by Americans.
The quartet agreed that Congress should pass a fresh relief package that includes resources to fight the pandemic, money for families and small businesses, and funds for state and local governments. Pelosi told reporters in Washington earlier Friday that she wouldn’t compromise on a package that does not include aid for governments.
Biden said in a statement that the group discussed “how we’ll get this virus under control, deliver much-needed relief, and build back better than before.”
Harris added that it was a great meeting. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I know that together we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren,” she said.