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Joe Biden and Pence meet at 9/11 Memorial, practice coronavirus safety

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden (left) and United States Vice President Mike Pence (right) greet each other during a 9/11 memorial service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on September 11, 2020 in New York City.

Amr Alfiky | Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence and former Vice President Joe Biden greeted each other with an elbow on Friday at the 9/1

1 memorial funeral in New York City, a moment that reflects the risks of a coronavirus pandemic whose death toll every month makes the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks look tiny.

The friendly physical exchange between Pence and Biden at Ground Zero was also a brief and solemn pause from what has been a bitter campaign between President Donald Trump and Biden, the Democratic candidate trying to win the White House this fall. Trump did not attend the event.

Biden also bumped Pence’s wife Karen Pence with his elbow. Biden’s wife, Jill, also traded similar shots with the Pences at the event, held on the Lower Manhattan site of what had been the iconic World Trade Center Twin Towers before they were overthrown by two hijacked planes 19 years ago.

The Bidens, Pences, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other attendees at the 19th anniversary commemorative event wore masks as a precaution against Covid-19 transmission.

Bloomberg, who had sought the Democratic presidential nomination this year, became mayor four months after the terrorist attacks, succeeding Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is now Trump’s personal lawyer.

As of Friday, there have been nearly 6.4 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. And more than 191,800 Americans have died from the virus.

On September 11, 2001, a total of at least 2,977 people were killed in the terrorist attacks in New York, the Pentagon in northern Virginia and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93, one of four planes hijacked that day by Islamic extremists, crashed to the ground. Most of the deaths occurred in New York.

Biden was due to visit Shanksville for commemorative events on Friday later, after Trump went there on Friday morning to mark the anniversary. The visits of the two campaign opponents were not planned to overlap.

Biden told reporters in New York that he would not discuss the campaign or politics, nor that his campaign would be on television on Friday due to the nature of the day.

“Guys, I’m not going to be in the news today. I’m not going to talk about anything other than 9/11,” Biden said.

“We’ve removed all of our publicity. It’s a solemn day and that’s how we’re going to keep it. Okay? We’ll go back to the campaign tomorrow.”

Trump’s campaign apparently didn’t have a similar moratorium on TV ads.

At least one announcement for Trump was posted Friday morning on Fox News, one of the president’s favorite media.

A Trump campaign official defended the decision on CNBC, saying, “people are voting today and our ads are patriotic.”

In late August, the nonprofit group 9/11 Day had written to both Trump and Biden’s campaigns, asking them to honor a campaign ad moratorium on the day, which the group said

“This traditional moratorium on the 9/11 campaign, originally instituted in 2004, has been supported by all major US presidential candidates since September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as well as many other candidates for public office in the federation. , local levels, “the group said in its letter.

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