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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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."

Go deeper

Nov 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least nine Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

J&J and Merck to partner for COVID vaccine production to boost supply

Empty vials that contained a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden will announce Tuesday that pharmaceutical giant Merck will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture its newly authorized coronavirus vaccine to boost supply, a senior administration official tells Axios.

The big picture: The development has the potential to vastly increase supply, possibly doubling what the J&J could make on its own, the official said. The company has run into challenges while trying to expand its vaccine production to a global scale.

Casinos throw cash at sports betting media

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Casinos are investing millions on sports betting content to lure bettors to their online and in-person sportsbooks.

Why it matters: It’s a mini gold rush for some sports media companies that were struggling in the pandemic.