In early April 2020, rumors circulated that Joe Biden’s presidential campaign had scheduled a “virtual fireside chat,” charging $2,800 for any donors wishing to access a livestream of the event:
Joe Biden is holding a fireside chat. To view the livestream will cost $2,800 per person. This will be done in the middle of a pandemic in which over 10 million Americans have lost their jobs. I am literally disgusted, even Trump wouldn’t go that low. from WayOfTheBern
The “fireside chat,” of course, is not a 2020 invention. The term is most closely associated with radio addresses given by United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt between 1933 and 1944. during the Great Depression and World War II.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 14, 2020
Tune in to Bernie's live fireside chat! https://t.co/a2eCclhtWD
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) March 14, 2020
Sanders’ move to “digital rallies” and his use of fireside chats proved popular:
NEWS: Bernie 2020 Digital Rally, Fireside Chat, and Pre-Debate Program Receive 5.3 Million Views pic.twitter.com/7pMGD6UFDe
— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) March 17, 2020
Bernie is channeling FDR and hosting virtual round tables or fireside chats every day, to comprehensively address Covid-19.
Biden is absent, failing to offer any leadership (his shadow handlers don't count as leaders).#whereisjoe?
— (Rev.) Annie 🕊️🌹 (@HolyHellHope) March 20, 2020
Biden has been having trouble getting attention during this COVID-19 pandemic. He could do a fireside chat. He could do a response update. Bernie Sanders is continuing to be relevant by doing live twitter updates. Joe Biden could be making news. I want him to succeed.
— Marble77 (@Marble772) March 31, 2020
When April 2020 rolled around, news of Joe Biden’s purported foray into fireside chats began spreading on Twitter:
Expecting a $2800 donation to attend a fireside chat is definitely not something he learned from Bernie because Bernie does these for freehttps://t.co/dgSartuebh
— Anthony Ⓥ🌹 (@sauteslut) April 3, 2020
Didn’t you hear? He’s holding a “fireside chat” just like Bernie now… except he’s charging $2,800 to see it!!! FDR would be proud.
Lmfao… he’s really just the worst candidate ever.
— #ThereIsNoPlanetB 🌍 (@RosettaDrone) April 3, 2020
Virtual Fireside Chat with Vice President Joe Biden
Thursday, April 16, 2020
Login instructions will be provided prior to event.
Co-Host: $25,000 (Raise) Includes pre-event VIP Clutch
Three fields followed that portion of the page: contact information (name and address), employer information (“required by law,”) and “Ticket & Attendee Information.” That third field indicated the only available ticket option was “attendee,” and the cost was $2,800.
A separated field allowed attendees to purchase a maximum of two tickets at a total of $5,600:
Several tweets and Reddit posts claimed that Joe Biden was holding a “Virtual Fireside Chat” in April 2020. As the tweets stated, information on JoeBiden.com indicated that tickets were available for purchase, priced at $2,800 each or $5,600 for a maximum of two tickets. The page said that login instructions would be provided prior to the event, presumably to avoid any non-ticketed audience members from accessing Biden’s livestream.