PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., was seen spending several hours shopping Thursday in Nantucket without any type of face protection.
It comes the same day a local restaurant chain was issuing a mandatory respirator law as a precaution ahead of a flu outbreak.
According to reports, the Delaware senator was seen in the Governor’s Restaurant at Bella Cara. An employee of the restaurant confirmed to the Daily News that Biden was eating and ordering.
Biden is in New Hampshire to campaign ahead of the Feb. 26 New Hampshire presidential primary.
A member of Biden’s staff, Trent Polinsky, also spotted Biden without the masks and spoke to the Daily News at a later location.
“He left without respirators,” Polinsky said. “He only took the one hand sanitizer bottle [and] went back to his room. He was not wearing any mask whatsoever.”
According to the Daily News, Biden’s Nantucket visit was still approved by his doctor as he continues to recover from pneumonia. He first visited the island last year for a Memorial Day weekend with his family.
Biden previously told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he would consider running for president for a third time. However, he also said: “If I’m getting kicked out of two other parties, I will be kicking people out of this party, too.”
There have been no reports that Biden suffered from the flu during his visit, Polinsky said.
“He said the only place he was getting a runny nose was in his house,” he told the Daily News.
Bill Timmons, co-owner of Bella Cara restaurant, made the first announcement of the mandatory respirator law, telling ABC News that restaurants “have been the gateway to swine flu” in recent weeks.
“It’s about time,” Timmons said in a statement released in advance of the Jan. 15-16 “Dressing for Dining.” “We’ve been proactive all along by educating our workers on proper hygiene practices. It’s time for us to mandate the same for the public we serve.”
The restaurant plans to participate in training to further educate and train their employees.