The two wore black masks as they took part in a brief wreath-laying ceremony there.
Biden kept his mask on during an exchange with reporters in which he was asked whether he had a message for the country on Memorial Day.
“Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made. Never, ever, forget,” Biden said.
Aside from some neighborhood walks and bike rides, Biden and his wife have followed state health officials’ guidance to stay home since mid-March. They have relied on cameras set up around their house to appear in live-streamed campaign events, remote TV interviews and prerecorded videos.
The visit to the veterans memorial came as Biden’s November opponent, President Trump, made televised visits to Arlington National Cemetery and the Fort McHenry National Monument in Baltimore. Later, Trump retweeted Fox News analyst Brit Hume, who mocked Biden’s masked appearance: “This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today,” Hume wrote.
Biden and his campaign have sought to draw a contrast with Trump, who has balked at wearing a mask in public. “Presidents lead by example, and wearing a mask helps protect others,” said Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo. “Donald Trump should try it, because his failure to act early on producing [personal protective equipment], on ramping up testing, and implementing a coherent national response to this crisis has cost thousands of Americans their lives.”
Biden’s campaign has not made public a timeline for resuming traditional events, saying it will follow scientists’ advice. When asked by reporters in recent weeks, Biden and his aides have argued that he is campaigning no less aggressively, even though he has opted not to travel.
Biden was asked Monday about leaving his house after two months.
“It feels good to be out of my house,” he said.
Some Democrats have privately grown anxious about his physical absence from the campaign trail, even as many public opinion polls show him leading Trump nationally and in several swing states. Trump has resumed some official travel under narrow circumstances and has indicated he wants to resume holding giant rallies, but none has been scheduled. Federal health officials have asked Americans not to take part in mass gatherings.
It is also unclear whether Democrats will gather in person for their national convention in Milwaukee in August. They pushed back initial plans to hold it in July, but uncertainty about the future of the pandemic has led them to consider contingency plans.
Biden has converted his basement into a television studio and more recently has appeared from different locations in the house after cameras were added, according to his digital director, Rob Flaherty. His remote campaign has not always gone smoothly. A virtual event designed to reach Florida voters earlier this month was plagued by technical glitches.
Monday’s appearance was Biden’s first in public since he started receiving Secret Service protection in mid-March.