Trump tested positive for COVID-19 this week — days after mocking Biden for heeding public health experts' advice.
Before Donald Trump tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, he spent months mocking Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for following the administration's own coronavirus safety guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises the public to "maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or more from people who don't live in your household," and to wear masks to lower the risk of transmitting COVID-19.
The public health agency's "Events and Gatherings: Readiness and Planning Tool" specifically states that large in-person gatherings "where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart" and where people "[do] not wear cloth face coverings" pose the highest risk of spreading the coronavirus.
"Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings," the CDC said in another guideline from July.
Biden and his associates have so far attempted to follow those guidelines closely, throughout the pandemic. In response, Trump has mocked the former vice president at least 32 times over the past several months, even as recently as Tuesday's presidential debate, which was held just days before Trump tested positive for the virus.
On Friday afternoon, Biden's camp announced he had tested negative, after having shared the debate stage with Trump.
As far back as May, as the pandemic was ravaging large sections of the United States, Trump mocked Biden, repeatedly dinging his decision to wear a mask.
On May 12, Trump retweeted a post by "The Ingraham Angle" account that claimed "Being Locked in a Basement Is a 'Gift' For Biden." The former vice president had been in lockdown at his home in Delaware, like many others, to help slow the spread of the virus.
On June 3, Trump mocked Biden for wearing masks during an interview with Brian Kilmeade on the Fox Radio Network. "I saw today, he took his mask off for the first time in a while, I haven't seen his face for a long time," he joked.
"Sleepy Joe Biden refuses to leave his basement 'sanctuary' and tell his Radical Left BOSSES that they are heading in the wrong direction. Tell them to get out of Seattle now. Liberal Governor @JayInslee is looking 'the fool'. LAW & ORDER!" Trump tweeted on June 11, referring to a spate of anti-racism protests in the city.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on June 17, Trump said, "I see Biden. It's like his whole face is covered. It's like he put a knapsack over his face. He probably likes it that way. He feels good that way because he does. He seems to feel good in a mask, you know, feels better than he does without the mask, which is a strange situation."
On June 19, Trump retweeted another Biden-basement comment. Trump mentioned Biden staying in the basement again during a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally the next day, June 20, and an interview with Fox News' John Roberts that same day.
On June 25, Trump retweeted Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who had mocked Biden for "finally [leaving] the basement."
McDaniel recently tested positive for coronavirus.
Trump made further comments about Biden having a mask on during an interview with Eric Bolling of Sinclair Broadcast Group on July 1. "I see Biden walking up on a stage where there's nobody around and the audience is 25, 30, 40 feet away," he said. "And he speaks and he has a mask on and you can't even understand what he's saying or he takes it off up there. When there's nobody around I don't see any reason to be wearing it."
In an interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge on July 14, Trump said Biden had "the largest mask I've ever seen."
Trump additionally told Fox News' Chris Wallace in an interview on July 19, "Biden can't put two sentences together. They wheel him out. He goes up — he repeats — they ask him questions. He reads a teleprompter and then he goes back into his basement."
"Was in the Great State of Texas this week and explained that the Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats, headed up by their great leader, Sleepy Joe Biden (who never leaves his basement), are strongly against 'Oil, Gas, Guns, & God'. Must be tough to win Texas on that platform!" Trump tweeted on Aug. 2.
Trump made another Biden-basement comment in an Aug. 12 interview with Eric Bolling of Sinclair Broadcast Group. He also retweeted conservative political operative Ford O’Connell quoting a Washington Times article about Biden hiding in a basement that same day.
On Aug. 28, Trump retweeted McDaniel saying, "If Joe Biden had his way, he would stay in the basement forever."
"Joe Biden is coming out of the basement earlier than his hoped for ten days because his people told him he has no choice, his poll numbers are PLUNGING! Going to Pittsburgh, where I have helped industry to a record last year, & then back to his basement for an extended period," Trump tweeted on Aug. 30.
In an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Aug. 31, Trump told the host, "Don't forget, Biden wasn't going to come out of his basement until the election."
On Sept. 2, Trump tweeted: "Joe Biden is a Low Energy Candidate the likes of which we have never seen before. The last thing our country needs is a Low Energy Individual, especially when surrounded by High Energy Chess Players scattered all over the world. He's back in his basement now - no schedule!"
In another rally in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 3, Trump said of Biden: "He famously told a voter I want you to look in my eyes when he's not wearing the mask because I've never seen a man that likes the mask more."
"We have Labor Day weekend coming up but did you ever see a man that likes a mask as much as him? And then he makes a speech and he always has it not always but a lot of times he has it hanging down because you know what, it gives him a feeling of security," he added.
During a Sept. 8 rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Trump made fun of Biden's "circles," appearing to refer to the former vice president's event in a Pennsylvania gymnasium.
"You ever see the gyms with the circles?" Trump said, mocking Biden for observing social distancing guidelines of placing people 6 feet apart.
In a Minden, Nevada campaign rally on Sept. 12, Trump said Biden was "in his damn basement again. No, he's in his basement. He's in his basement."
And during a separate press gaggle on Sept. 12, Trump said: "Joe Biden is sleeping or whatever he's doing in his basement. He doesn't seem to come out a lot."
During a campaign rally in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 22, Trump said: "Do you ever see sleepy Joe with the little circles? It puts him very far away, so far away and then he comes up with the mask. He's like 100 yards from the nearest human being he's got a — he feels good about the mask. I wonder in the debate, it'll be him and I on the stage. Is he going to walk in with a mask? I'll be honest, he feels good about — he feels good about the mask and that's OK."
"You know what, whatever makes you feel good," he added. "He feels good. He feels good. I mean honestly, what the hell did he spend all that money on the plastic surgery if he's going to cover it up with a mask? Seriously. Oh, hold on. No, I think he'll come in with a mask. I don't know. You have no — I have no idea."
During a Black economic empowerment event in Atlanta on Sept. 26, Trump told the audience that Biden was "staying in again today."
"This guy never goes out. It's terrible huh? … If I lose to a man who doesn't campaign... I don't know," Trump said.
And in the most recent example, during Tuesday’s presidential debate, Trump once more mocked Biden for wearing a mask — days before being diagnosed with COVID-19 himself.
"Every time you see him, he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away from it. And he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen," Trump said.
Published with permission from The American Independent Foundation.