Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Mike Allen

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

  • So the day-by-day effort to define his handling of the crisis carries high stakes for both campaigns.

A new Biden document, "Trump Broken Promises on COVID-19," declares support for "a nationwide testing campaign and ... advances in faster, more affordable, more accurate testing — as Joe Biden has repeatedly called for."

  • "Testing sites are hard to access, and lines are long," the Biden document says.
  • "The criteria for who needs a test is still unclear. And supply-chain bottlenecks mean some Americans are waiting a week or more for results, effectively rendering the test useless."

What they're saying: Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, said in a statement to Axios: "President Trump has been leading the country through the coronavirus crisis and has taken dramatic, effective steps to protect the health and safety of our citizens. ... "

  • "The testing system the President implemented is nothing short of a major success, with nearly 60 million tests conducted to date. When the world learned that China had been lying to the world about the origin and danger of the coronavirus, he held them accountable and withdrew funding from the WHO ... ."
  • "As always, Biden talks a big game, but his record and rhetoric do not hold up to scrutiny."

Read the Biden document.

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