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Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke on Thursday to address Americans and weigh in on the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Biden and Sanders are looking to establish their own credentials for crisis management as they compete for the nomination to challenge President Trump in November. But they're also part of a broader pushback against the administration's coronavirus response, which has been criticized for being too slow, not aggressive enough in terms of testing and containment, and undercut by Trump's own rhetoric.

  • Biden's campaign announced work-from-home rules and plans to close some field offices to the public starting Saturday, according to an internal campaign memo.
  • Sanders' campaign has asked all staff to work from home and says they will focus on digital outreach rather than large events or door knocking.

What they're saying: Biden proposed a three-pronged solution, including...

  • Deploying mobile testing sites, with at least 10 per state and drive-through testing centers.
  • Preparing hospitals with ample testing kits, staff and materials, including utilizing resources from FEMA and the Department of Defense.
  • Accelerating the development of a vaccine and treatments, and ensuring that the vaccine is free when completed.

Biden said of his plan: "I offer it as a roadmap, not for what I will do as president 10 months from now, but for the leadership I believe is required right now, in this moment. President Trump is welcome to adopt it today."

Sanders offered his own proposal, urging Trump to declare a state of emergency, to "convene an emergency bipartisan authority of experts to support and direct the response," provide ample support staff and experts, and create hotlines for coronavirus concerns.

  • "In terms of potential deaths, in terms of the economic impact on our economy the crisis we face from the coronavirus is on the scale of major war and we must act accordingly."

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 2 mins ago - Economy & Business

How central banks can save the world

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The trillion-dollar gap between actual GDP and potential GDP is a gap made up of misery, unemployment, and unfulfilled promise. It's also a gap that can be eradicated — if central banks embrace unconventional monetary policy.

  • That's the message from Eric Lonergan and Megan Greene, two economists who reject the idea that central banks have hit a "lower bound" on interest rates. In fact, they reject the idea that "interest rates" are a singular thing at all, and they fullthroatedly reject the idea — most recently put forward by New York Fed president Bill Dudley — that the Fed is "out of firepower."

Why it matters: If Lonergan and Greene are right, then central banks have effectively unlimited ammunition in their fight to increase inflation and employment. They are limited only by political will.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Leon Black says he "made a terrible mistake" doing business with Jeffrey Epstein

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis/Getty Images

Apollo Global Management CEO Leon Black on Thursday said during an earnings call that he made a "terrible mistake" by employing Jeffrey Epstein to work on personal financial and philanthropic services.

Why it matters: Apollo is one of the world's largest private equity firms, and already has lost at least one major client over Black's involvement with Epstein.