The former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has interviewed top finalists to fill the role he once held and an announcement of his choice is still expected this week, according to multiple people familiar with the search.

Joe Biden has interviewed his top choices either in person or remotely. Last week, for example, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer flew to Delaware to meet with him in person. Other meetings have been held either by telephone or video conferencing, said the people familiar with the process who were granted anonymity to speak frankly.

Aides to several of the contenders, including Whitmer, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Representative Karen Bass and senators Tammy Duckworth, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren declined to comment on Monday. Most of the contenders remained in the Washington area on Monday given their day jobs. 

Plans to unveil Biden’s running mate choice are in place for whenever he is ready to announce. His campaign has encouraged supporters to sign up for text message alerts that they claim will be the first way people learn of the decision. Top aides continue to insist that a text message is the way that the world will first officially learn of the decision.

Meanwhile, campaign staff and Secret Service personnel were seen on Monday checking into downtown Wilmington, Delaware, hotels next to a minor league ballpark from where Biden is expected to deliver formal remarks during the Democratic National Convention next week.

One senior aide said late Monday, “I’ve got my Day 0 and Day 1 and beyond plans [to announce the pick] in place. Now, we just need to know who it is.”

Another senior staffer said the decision remains a closely-guarded secret. “Honestly, they’ve done a pretty remarkable job of keeping this fully under wraps internally,” said the staffer.

Both aides were granted anonymity to speak frankly about the ongoing search.

Tim Perry, Jack Turman and Zak Hudak contributed to this report.

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