A South Carolina man is furious after he says road closures for Vice President Joe Biden’s daylong campaign trip to Columbia on Tuesday prevented his sick mother from being able to get to her doctor.
“It wasn’t an emergency, but it was important,” the man, a resident of downtown Columbia, said in an interview with The Daily Caller of his mother’s appointment. “She’s not well.”
“As far as a son taking care of a very old and very ill mother, it was infuriating to the point of making me frantic,” he said.
On a normal day, the man said, it would only take about seven minutes to drive from his mother’s house to the hospital where her appointment was scheduled. But the woman missed her appointment after her son tried driving down five different roads, but found each of them blocked by police.
“We missed it,” the man said of the appointment. “We gave up after about 40 minutes and came home.”
“It was absurd,” he said by phone.
Biden and his wife, Jill, flew to Columbia for the day on Tuesday for several events.
The vice president started the day meeting with African-American clergy at Allen University, followed by a rally on campus. Later in the day, Biden attended a fundraiser hosted by the South Carolina Democratic Party at a private residence. Earlier in the morning, Jill Biden attended an event for the South Carolina Democratic Party at Benedict College.
The man said his mother is suffering from a “severe auto-immune disease.” She was going to see her doctor to discuss recent tests. “It was a big deal,” the son said.
Allen University, where two of the Biden events were taking place, sits on the same main road that the man says he planned to use to get to the hospital. The Biden fundraiser at the private residence, he said, is also taking place in the same neighborhood his mother lives in.
The man said he pleaded with police to help them find a way to the hospital.
“None had any solution or suggestion about how to get her to hospital other than to call an ambulance,” he said.
He suspects police were under strict orders not to let anyone pass.
“One was actually kind of a jerk, but out of six I dealt with, they clearly wanted to help but clearly couldn’t,” he said. “One guy was a complete dick.”
A spokesman for Biden didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
It’s typical for local police and sheriff departments to offer support for such visits. But such high-profile visits sometimes lead to complaints from locals.
When Biden traveled to Colorado for a private trip last month, the sheriff in Pitkin County publicly complained about the resources his department had to devote to protecting the vice president.