New York Times: Why Is Biden So ‘Cagey' About His Health That Trump Might’ve Compromised?


For those who came in late, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The state of his health is a Choose Your Own Adventure story that White House physician Dr. Sean Conley is writing on the fly. Yet, this is a headline from the New York Times.

The New York Times

No, "His" here does not refer back to Trump, but to Biden! “Cagey" implies a reluctance to provide information. That's a strange adjective to use considering that Joe Biden's team fully answered the relevant question: The former vice president tested negative again Sunday for COVID-19.

With transparency on health newly significant in the presidential race, Joe Biden's safety protocols have remained largely under wraps. But on Sunday evening, his campaign said he had again tested negative for the coronavirus.

For the record, “transparency on health" is newly significant in the race because the president caught COVID-19 like a very stupid person walking into multiple rakes. This is not a person who contracted the virus working a grocery store shift to feed her family and us all, or a first responder who refused to strike, or even a poor old Fox-watcher who believed what the president told them. This is a person who had the best experts in the world, but thought wearing a mask was for sissies. That's the more pressing issue, not Biden's safety protocols, which the Times seems to think he keeps as secret as Colonel Sanders's original recipe.

Also, more pressing is the fact that Trump potentially exposed his 77-year-old political opponent to a highly contagious and deadly disease and never bothered to tell him. That's typical sociopathic Trump.

The article details the measures Biden takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which the New York Times seems to think are a shady mystery on par with the presiden't doctor's perambulations around the question of the president's oxygen: He wears masks, which Trump mocks. He doesn't hold large rallies, as Trump recklessly did. He keeps reporters at a distance from himself and each other whenever he briefs them or gives speeches.

These actions have so far helped keep Mr. Biden healthy and able to continue campaigning ...

Sure, but that's not Biden's primary motivation. He actually gives a damn about people who aren't staring back at him from his mirror.

His aides will not answer questions about whether Mr. Biden is tested daily; they say simply that he is tested "regularly." Until this weekend, they had promised to inform the public only if he had a confirmed positive case.

This is likely because Trump's homicidal recklessness has upended Biden's campaign. He's not the one in the hospital but he's expected to give daily updates on his health. That's only an expectation because Trump threw a superspreader party for Amy Coney Barrett. And what's wrong with only telling us if Biden's tested positive? Unlike the Trump crime family, Biden is someone we can probably trust with the honor system.

Then, on Saturday night, after two days of refusing to provide details about Mr. Biden's testing procedures, the campaign committed to releasing the results of all of his tests. He tested negative on Sunday, the campaign said.

So, the Times got what it wanted but chooses to frame it in the scuzziest way possible.

Mr. Biden, who is ahead in national polls and many battleground state surveys, still faces the possibility of a positive test; he is continuing to campaign rather than quarantine.

Yeah, it's quite a setback for Biden that Trump might've EXPOSED HIM TO THE CORONAVIRUS. I'm not sure the Times would have covered this any differently if Trump had just sprayed Biden in the face with a bottle of eau de COVID. Now, the Times is reminding us that Biden is old, as if that's brand new information. The man entered the Senate the same year Amy Coney Barrett entered the world and judged it sinful.

Mr. Trump's diagnosis, and the apparent health threat he posed during a debate where he was often talking or shouting over Mr. Biden, are forcing the Biden campaign to grapple with its own next steps and disclosures regarding the health of the Democratic nominee.


Look, the fact that Biden hasn't personally broken into Walter Reed hospital and suffocated Trump with a pillow demonstrates yet again that he has the ideal temperament to lead us during these difficult times. I still hold a grudge against the classmate who gave me chicken pox just before my big college trip to New York (actually, I was that classmate, and I'm sorry, Karen).

By continuing to campaign after having been exposed to an infected person — Mr. Trump — on Tuesday night, Mr. Biden is flouting an important rule in public health, experts said. So, too, is Vice President Mike Pence, who met with the president in the Oval Office on Tuesday and plans to continue campaigning.

Biden stood at least 12 feet from President Pandemic during the debate, so he was never within what the Centers for Disease Control considers “close contact." Yes, there is a possibility of infection, but nothing on the level of Mike Pence, who practically sat in Utah Senator Mike Lee's lap during Barrett's Death Covid Jam. Pence was indoors, in close contact, with people who have since tested positive, including Trump. Pence is also next in line to a hospitalized and heavily medicated president. But, hey, both sides!

According to the Washington Post, Biden took the more rigorous PCR test on Sunday and COVID-19 wasn't detected, no thanks to Trump. It's bad enough for someone to shout lies in your face about your own son, but they shouldn't give you the coronavirus in the process. Trump's cruelty and contempt for human life is the real story here, but the Times can't resist burying the lede.

[The New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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