Biden to disinfect White House after Trump leaves, clear air of 'lingering droplets'

A team "will go over every part of the White House's East and West Wings"

Updated: December 10, 2020 - 3:20pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook


Joe Biden is 78 – a dangerous age in the time of COVID-19.

The Democrat spent nearly the entire 2020 presidential campaign in his basement in his Wilmington, Del., basement.

While President Trump crisscrossed the country, packing tens of thousands into rallies, Biden held socially distanced events –with people in their cars hoking their horns if they liked a campaign platitude.

And it appears Biden will continue the stripped down life if he's deemed the 46th president, as now seems likely.

The first thing Biden will do, should he move into the White House, is a full spring clean, according to Politico.

"Because the coronavirus can linger on surfaces for multiple days, a team deployed by the General Services Administration will go over every part of the White House's East and West wings touched by human hands in the hours after Trump departs and Biden moves in, a spokesperson from the agency confirmed to" the liberal-leaning website.

"That includes plans to 'thoroughly clean and disinfect' all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide 'disinfectant misting services' to clear the air of lingering droplets."

Several members of the Trump administration – including the president – have contracted COVID-19. 

What's more, Politico said Biden will only do "small and infrequent public events." Aides debating policies and Cabinet picks won't meet face to face. And inauguration, usually attended by hundred of thousands of people, will be virtual.

Biden was on full lockdown for many months during the campaign. 

At the end of September, Fox News reported that “since his Aug. 11 selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, Biden has had 22 days where he either didn’t make public appearances, held only virtual fundraisers or ventured from his Delaware home solely for church.”

He made just 12 visits outside Delaware during that time frame, while over the same period, Trump made 24 trips that took him to 17 different states, as well as a visit to New York to see his ailing brother in the hospital.

Biden's presidency could well be reminiscent of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's, in the 1930s. FDR was rarely pictured and held few public events because he was paralyzed from the waist down after a bout of polio, a fact that his aides sought to downplay – and the media agreed to play along with. 

The presidency is grueling: Presidents are routinely shown in split shots – what they looked like before they took office and what they looked like when they left the White House. The job also requires considerable foreign travel. There are annual high-level meetings in Asia, Europe and South America, all attended by the president.

That may be why Biden and his team are already implementing safety measures.

"When Biden has given speeches introducing his top White House aides, national security team and economic advisers, the podium is sanitized between speakers. And when aides do meet in person in the transition office or with candidates for the Cabinet, they use rapid tests, temperature checks, masks and physical distancing to prevent transmission of the virus –practices they plan to implement in the cramped and poorly ventilated White House after Inauguration Day," Politico wrote.

"We need to level with each other,” Biden said Tuesday. “We’re in a dark winter. Things may well get worse before they get better. … We didn’t get into this mess quickly, and it’ll take time to fix."