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Joe Biden commended President Trump on Tuesday for choosing to wear a mask in public, but he quickly pivoted to arguing how the move shows just how bad the coronavirus crisis has gotten under Trump's leadership.

Why it matters: By leveling his charge at the top of speech on his $2 trillion plan to combat climate change, Biden sought to keep the focus on Trump’s personal and policy responses to the coronavirus. "Mr. President, ‘open everything now” isn’t a strategy for success, it’s barely a slogan," Biden said.

What he's saying:

"We're still a country in crisis. The pandemic has affected more than 3 million Americans. It has cost more than 135,000 lives and climbing. And it shows no signs of slowing down. ... It's gotten bad enough that even Donald Trump finally decided to wear a mask in public. I'm glad he made the shift. Mr. President, it's not enough. We won't be able to turn the corner and get the American people back to work safely without presidential leadership. ... Mr. President, please listen to your public health experts instead of denigrating them. Do your job, Mr. President."
— Joe Biden

Go deeper

Oct 21, 2020 - Health

CDC changes "close contact" guidance for COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep LAGO / AFP, Alfredo ESTRELLA / AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its definition of who is considered a “close contact” of an individual infected with the coronavirus in a report released Wednesday.

Why it matters: The update is likely to pose challenges for schools, workplaces and other group settings as the U.S. prepares for a third coronavirus wave. It also reinforces the importance of masks in the face of President Trump’s repeated attempts to belittle their efficacy.

Oct 21, 2020 - Health

New York reports most coronavirus cases since May

Gov. Andrew Cuomo at an Oct. 6 press briefing. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York reported over 2,000 positive coronavirus cases on Wednesday — the most infections seen in the state since May, per COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and health department data.

The big picture: Hospitalizations have been creeping back up in New York, alongside 38 other states. New York is currently seeing more than 900 hospitalizations a day, the CTP reports.

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