Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Trump "incited" Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) into reopening nonessential businesses through his calls to "liberate" states.

Driving the news: Trump surprised many when he criticized Kemp's plans to reopen indoor facilities including gyms, bowling alleys and salons, accusing the Republican governor of violating White House guidelines for lifting coronavirus restrictions.

What she's saying:

"I give Donald Trump zero credit for backing away from this because he incited it, with his 'liberation of the states' narrative. I think Brian Kemp was responding to that call and decided to wrongheadedly move forward. And, unfortunately, as a result, he found himself crossways with the president, with Mike Pence nodding pathetically at the same time about ingesting Clorox as the president gave more false information to the public. But I think all three of these men have misserved Georgia and misserved the country."

The big picture: Abrams said that if she was running the federal government, she would ramp up production not only of tests, but also of components like swabs and vials in order to increase capacity.

  • "Part of testing is making sure people trust that they can go to be tested," she said. "And right now there's inadequate equipment and inadequate strategy."
  • Abrams also said she would be encouraging Southern and Midwestern states that have refused to expand Medicaid to "do so immediately."

Worth noting: Abrams, who has been openly lobbying to be selected as Joe Biden's running mate, dismissed criticism that she lacks experience to be vice president, pointing to her work with her voting rights organization Fair Fight 2020 over the past year and a half.

  • "I was raised to tell the truth," Abrams said. "And so when I am asked a question, I answer it as directly and honestly as I can. And as a young black girl growing up in Mississippi, I learned that if I didn’t speak up for myself, no one else would."

Go deeper: 3 Southern states will begin to ease coronavirus lockdowns

Go deeper

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Staff in the Executive Office of the President will be subject to mandatory coronavirus tests, in efforts to "protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex," CNBC reports.

  • Why it matters: Multiple people in the White House have tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic, including President Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien last week.

What they're saying: “As part of our ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the entire White House Complex, randomized testing of Executive Office of the President staff, which has been ongoing for several months, will become mandatory rather than voluntary," a White House official said Monday.

Aug 4, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

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