Jill Biden is heading out to campaign in eight swing states as the final leg of this campaign season kicks off.
Dr. Biden will embark Tuesday on a multi-week “Back to School Tour” that will stop in ten cities, the campaign announced Monday.
The announcement comes as Team Biden faced mounting scrutiny over its continued reliance on virtual campaigning in the last two months of the presidential election, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Details on upcoming scheduling for the tour’s stops after Tuesday’s launch in the Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, were not immediately provided by the campaign.
Cities included in the announcement were listed in the order: Grand Rapids, Mich., Green Bay, Wis., Greensboro, NC, Jacksonville, Fla., Las Vegas, NV, Minneapolis, Minn., Phoenix, Ariz., Scranton, Pa. and Tampa, Fla.
Biden has campaigned from his Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware homes since the pandemic forced Americans into lockdown in March, the same time he scooped up Democratic nomination.
On Tuesday, the former second lady will kick off the tour with an event at a Delaware public school, where she will hold a meeting with the school district’s superintendent and “a socially distant conversation with educators” about safely reopening schools amid the pandemic.
According to the campaign, the tour will consist of virtual roundtables with educators, parents and students, as well as other virtual and in-person programs to engage with educators and those working to address food insecurity.
“She is eager to hear about their experiences with remote instruction, in-person teaching, and hybrid learning, as well as how schools are serving additional needs of their students and families including broadband access, food insecurity, and mental health support,” a statement from the campaign read.
As Biden continued to face criticism for campaigning almost entirely out of his Delaware home, the former vice president said that his team was working on getting the campaign back on the trail, especially in swing states.
“One of the things we’re thinking about is I’m going to be going up into Wisconsin, and Minnesota, spending time in Pennsylvania, out in Arizona,” Biden told a virtual fundraiser Thursday.
“What we’re working on is how I get out. I’m going to be traveling throughout the country where I can do it consistent with the state rules about how many people can be assembled.”
“But we’re going to do it in a way that is totally consistent with being responsible, unlike what this guy’s doing,” he added, in reference to President Trump.
“I’m a tactile politician. I really miss being able to, you know, grab hands, shake hands, you can’t do that now. But I can in fact appear beyond virtually, in person, in many of these places,” the 2020 Democrat concluded.
The tone was a shift from his stance in an ABC News interview released Sunday, when he was pressed by host David Muir if he believed he could win a presidential election from home.
“We will,” Biden said adamantly, “We’re going to follow the science, what the scientists tell us. We’ve been able to travel places when we’ve been able to do it in a way that we don’t cause the congregation of large numbers of people.”
Pressed on President Trump’s frequent accusation that the 2020 presidential hopeful was afraid to leave his basement, Biden rejected the criticism.
“Guess what. I have left my basement,” Biden quipped, “But in the meantime, 500 million people have watched what I’ve done out of my basement. And guess what? People are listening, people are listening. It’s about being responsible.”
“I’ve gone around the country. I’ve been — I’ve been to Texas. I’ve been around, but doing it in a way that I am not going to have thousands of people show up not wearing masks and infecting one another.”
Representatives for the former vice president have not yet released a schedule of his own for getting back out on the road.
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