Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Limbaugh Medal of Freedom: He doesn't understand American decency

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden reacted at a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening about talk show host Rush Limbaugh receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom at Tuesday's State of the Union, stating: "I don't think he understands the American code of decency and honor."

Why it matters: Biden received a Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor — from President Obama in 2017. Limbaugh accepted the award Tuesday, just one day after he announced he'd been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and will be seeking treatment.

What they're saying: Biden sent his best to Limbaugh regarding his diagnosis, but did not shy away from criticizing the radio personality's record.

  • "I mean this sincerely, that he's suffering from a terminal illness. So he has my empathy and sympathy no matter what his background is. But the idea that he [at] a State of the Union receives a medal that is of the highest honor that can be given to a civilian I find, quite frankly, driven more by trying to maintain your right-wing political credentials than it is anything else," Biden said.
  • "I mean, if you read some of the things that Rush has said about people, their backgrounds, their ethnicity, how he speaks to them ... I don't think he understands the American code of decency and honor," he added.

The big picture: Limbaugh has been one of the most influential conservative media personalities over the last three decades. His radio show often featured high-power guests, including President Trump.

Go deeper: Key takeaways from Trump's State of the Union address

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 5,931,112 — Total deaths: 357,929 — Total recoveries — 2,388,172Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 1,711,313 — Total deaths: 101,129 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. States: New York to allow private businesses to deny entry to customers without masks.
  4. Public health: Louisiana Sen. Cassidy wants more frequent testing of nursing home workers.
  5. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Chinese official's claims that coronavirus originated in U.S.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S. and was brought to Wuhan by the U.S. military, directing users to "get the facts about COVID-19."

Why it matters: The labels were added after criticism that Twitter had fact-checked tweets from President Trump about mail-in voting, but not other false claims from Chinese Communist Party officials and other U.S. adversaries.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter, round two

President Trump is escalating his response to Twitter’s fact check of his recent tweets about mail-in voting, issuing an executive order that's designed to begin limiting social media's liability protections. Dan digs in with Axios' Margaret Harding McGill.

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