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Faced with Donald Trump who criss-crosses the country despite the pandemic, Joe Biden, masked, opts for small meetings close to his home. And despite the mockery of the Republican president, who accuses him of hiding, the Democratic candidate for the White House takes off in the polls.

The road remains long until the presidential election of November 3 and the former American vice-president, known for his blunders, will not be able to avoid very long yet to throw himself into the arena to directly confront the tempestuous Republican billionaire.

The contrast between the two men is striking, underlined by extraordinary circumstances.

A few chairs installed in a garden, at a good distance recommended to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Mask under the chin, Joe Biden converses in a compassionate voice with a handful of women and children who have suffered from serious illnesses.

Then he gives a speech in an almost empty room, where the few journalists, installed in circles marking the same safety distance on the ground, cannot ask questions.

The former right-hand man of Barack Obama has traveled only 70 kilometers from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to reach these two meetings in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

– “Biden is hiding” –

It was the first time that Joe Biden had organized a public event in person since his rival marked his return to campaign rallies in front of thousands of supporters, rarely masked and shoulder to shoulder, in Oklahoma on Saturday.

“Biden is hiding,” Donald Trump regularly accuses. “Why? Because he does not have the strength, energy and mental rigor to run the country,” he said on his campaign team’s Twitter account.

At 77, Joe Biden certainly does not display the same physical form as Donald Trump, 74, who can speak, like Saturday, for almost two hours while surveying the scene.

“We can talk for two hours but it’s what we say that counts,” sweeps Amy Dacey, democratic strategist who teaches at American University and had advised Barack Obama and John Kerry for their campaigns.

“The team and Vice President Biden speak to locals and the local media, going where they are and not asking them to come where they are, and this marks an important contrast” with Donald Trump, said she to AFP.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 120,000 people in the United States and caused a deep economic crisis. Since the death of George Floyd at the end of May, the country has also been seized by a historic movement of anger against racism and police brutality.

The election will be played on the choice of voters for a type of “leadership”, she explains. “People are suffering, we are living in a very difficult time and they have to choose the leader who” can lead them towards the end of the crisis, with two very different visions.

– “Bring out Biden” –

Thursday at Lancaster, Joe Biden tackled his rival for his management of the pandemic: “It looks like a child who simply can not believe it happened to him. He just whines and feels sorry.”

The New York billionaire noted an error by his rival who, in front of the families of the sick, spoke of “120 million dead” in the United States.

“Biden’s human side is Biden’s asset,” and this is in stark contrast to Trump, “said Barry Burden, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

For now, his muted campaign has succeeded in the Democrat, which leads not only in national polls (by ten points, according to the average of the specialized site RealClearPolitics) but also in half a dozen pivotal states, which make and break the American presidential elections.

But “at some point, Biden will have to show up on the ground, if only to reassure voters,” warns Barry Burden.

Even reduced to its bare minimum because of the Covid-19, the Democratic convention at the end of August and the much awaited announcement of the choice of its running mate could offer it a good platform.

Provided that he does not stumble.

“There is a reason behind the fact that Trump and his team keep ridiculing Joe Biden because he remains in the shadows,” political analyst Kyle Kondik said Thursday in an analysis for the University of Virginia. “They need to get Biden out and hope he makes mistakes so that Trump can improve his image in comparison.”

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Source: VOA-AFP.

AFP - Agence France Presse.

AGENCE PRANCE-PRESSE (AFP): is an international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Agence Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency. AFP has regional headquarters in Nicosia, Montevideo, Hong Kong, and Washington, D.C., and news bureaux in 151 countries in 201 locations.

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