Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) told "Fox News Sunday" that the U.S. "can't simply blame China as a way to get our country out of this pandemic and the recession and the chaos that's resulted from President Trump's failed response."

Why it matters: Coons was defending Joe Biden for not focusing on the rise of China and its abuses this past week during the Democratic National Convention, claiming that Biden has frequently addressed China on the campaign trail.

  • The Trump administration in recent months has taken a very hawkish stance toward Beijing, which officials blame for covering up the coronavirus in the early days of the Wuhan outbreak.
  • With the GOP convention kicking off on Monday, Republicans and the president will likely hammer Democrats over claims that Biden is not tough enough on China.

What he's saying: "I'll remind you, back in January and February as the pandemic was spreading around the world, it was Donald Trump who was saying positive things, cozying up to Xi Jinping, and it was Joe Biden who was sounding the alarm bells about this pandemic," Coons argued.

  • "Donald Trump, our president, failed to act responsibly as this pandemic was beginning to impact Americans. Today, we have 5½ million infected Americans, 175,000 dead Americans because of the bungled federal response."

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Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.

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Where key GOP senators stand on replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talks to reporters on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With President Trump planning to nominate his third Supreme Court justice nominee this week, key Republican senators are indicating their stance on replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with less than 50 days until Election Day.

The state of play: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has vowed that "Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate." Two GOP senators — Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) — have said they oppose holding a vote before the election, meaning that two more defections would force McConnell to delay until at least the lame-duck session of Congress.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 30,873,714 — Total deaths: 958,383— Total recoveries: 21,103,559Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,788,343 — Total deaths: 199,421 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.