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Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images; Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg and Bernie Sanders' presidential campaigns sparred Wednesday over which 78-year-old is in better cardiac health.

The big picture: The line of attack comes as Sanders, the race's current frontrunner, is set to meet Bloomberg, who has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make a splash in the race, face-to-face for the first time on the debate stage in Nevada.

The state of play: Sanders' national press secretary Briahna Joy Gray told CNN that Bloomberg "has suffered heart attacks in the past."

  • Bloomberg senior adviser Tim O'Brien hit back on Twitter, calling the statement "a Trumpy lie from the Sanders campaign, which rolls like Trump in many ways."
  • Bloomberg released a letter from his doctor last year, which featured no mention of a heart attack but did note that he underwent coronary stent placement surgery in 2000.
  • Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in a statement that the surgery occurred after a positive stress test and has been "public for years" since Bloomberg, who holds a pilot's license, had to inform the FAA when it occurred.
  • Gray later walked back her statement about Bloomberg on Twitter, stating that she "misspoke" and that he "underwent the same stent procedure as Bernie."

The other side: Sanders suffered a heart attack last October that briefly sidelined him from the campaign trail.

  • The Vermont senator released letters from his primary physician and two cardiologists late last year stating that he "has the mental and physical stamina to fully undertake the rigors of the presidency."
  • Sanders said this week that he was unlikely to disclose any additional medical information, stating that he has already put forth "quite as much as any other candidate has," reports The Hill.

Go deeper: Bernie Sanders released from hospital following heart attack

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

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