As many Americans moved to tele-working and began connecting with family, friends and coworkers more regularly over online video conferencing software, Joe Biden has so far only used these platforms once to address the increasingly anxious public.
But over the weekend the candidate promised this will be changing.
For the past week, the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s communication strategy has been light on public, on-camera addresses and focused more on lengthy statements released by his campaign.
As the coronavirus pandemic spiked over the past week in the U.S., the front-runner for the Democratic nomination only held one on-camera address to his supporters, approximately six minutes long, during the last round of primary state voting on March 17.
On Sunday night, Biden informed donors that his home in Wilmington, Delaware, has undergone a television studio makeover. “They put in a new high speed line into my home, they’ve converted a recreation room, basically, into a television studio,” Biden said on a fundraising call.
The former vice president promised the Biden home studio would be up and running starting Monday.
There has been growing pressure on the Biden campaign to make the candidate more visible as President Trump has participated in hours-long press briefings during which he blames the Obama-Biden administration for shortcomings in testing and says it failed to prepare the country for a global pandemic.
Asked about his communications setup on Friday on a press call with reporters, Biden said the campaign hired a “professional team” that will “hopefully allow [the campaign] to be in a very different place” to communicate..
“There are ways in which we can do tele-conferencing with us all being in different locations,” Biden said his team told him.
As for his own work schedule, Biden told the press he has been making calls for around seven hours a day to stay informed. He’s been talking with House and Senate Democratic leadership working on the COVID-19 response stimulus package, as well as with governors and mayors dealing with the response in their communities.
In a call with Georgia donors Sunday night, Biden said he sees “no need” to postpone the election because of the current health scare, and he said some have told him “the other guy is going to try to postpone the election in November,” an apparent reference to President Trump.
The candidate also gave more insight into the closely watched process of choosing a vice presidential nominee, which Biden said will begin “in a matter of weeks.” He has already promised to choose a woman and told the donors the vetted group will be “in excess of six or seven people.”
As that work begins for him and his largely work-from-home team, staff who directly interact with him have been wearing masks and gloves, Biden told reporters on Friday.