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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Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 20,177,521 — Total deaths: 738,716 — Total recoveries: 12,400,156Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 5,130,784 — Total deaths: 164,603 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.

42 mins ago - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.