Joe Biden’s disappearance from public view during an extreme national crisis is one of the most astounding, jaw-dropping abdications of responsibility I have ever seen in a public official — especially one who might well be the next president. The excuse his aides offer about “struggling to set up the technology” so he can communicate to the public is ludicrous, and insulting in its transparent falsehood. If he is isolating because he might have the disease, he should tell us. If he is simply overwhelmed by the crisis and doesn’t know what to do – or even worse, is waiting for his rich donors to tell him what to do – then he should end his campaign now and go into a very comfortable retirement.

Sanders has put his campaigning on hold and is now using his fundraising apparatus to raise millions of dollars for coronavirus relief efforts. He has somehow managed to master the mysterious and difficult “technology” that baffles Biden, and appears in a variety of media every day, with concrete plans for dealing with the crisis and helping ordinary people, while also working flat out with Senate colleagues. You don’t even have to support Sanders to see that is entirely possible to communicate directly with the public while coping with an ever-shifting catastrophe. Biden doesn’t have to deal with senatorial duties during an unprecedented crisis. He’s had all the time in the world to step up and offer a solid, viable alternative to Trump’s raging carnage. But he has not. He’s hidden from his responsibility, hidden from his calling, hidden from history.

If — and it’s still not certain — Biden manages to make some kind of appearance on Monday as promised, it will be the first time in six days he’s spoken to the nation he is seeking to lead. Six days that have completely changed the world and the country. Six days that the raving liar and lunatic Donald Trump has been allowed to hold the stage alone and spin a false, sinister, self-serving narrative that seems to be taking hold out there, as his poll numbers inexplicably rise. Meanwhile, the presumptive presidential nominee for the opposition party is missing in action, as silent as the tombs that Americans are being thrust into by Trump’s corrupt and crazed dithering. These six missing days have been epoch-making in American history and politics, and Joe Biden has bungled them to a tragic and damaging degree. How could he have stayed out of sight during such a time? Why would he do it? Again, it is a staggering, unfathomable, utter dereliction of duty.

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