2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden harshly criticized President Trump's suggestion on Tuesday that social distancing restrictions should be lifted by Easter, saying on CNN that the president should "stop talking and start listening to the medical experts."

Why it matters: Trump has been warned by his close advisers that the economy can’t sustain a shutdown for much longer, and he's weighing lifting restrictions in certain zip codes after the expiration of the White House's "15 Days to Slow the Spread" initiative. Health experts warn that this could lead to a drastic increase in coronavirus cases.

What he's saying:

"You talk about having an economic crisis. You want an economic crisis, watch this spike, watch the number of dead go up, watch the number of people who in fact connect with this virus. When are you going to be able to open the economy? Look, we all want the economy to open as rapidly as possible.
The way to do that is let's take care of the medical side of this immediately. One of the things — he's not responsible for the coronavirus, but he's responsible for the delay in taking the actions that need to be taken, as far back as January."
— Joe Biden

The big picture: Biden, who has built a near-insurmountable delegate lead in the Democratic primary over Sen. Bernie Sanders, told CNN that as president he would have invoked the Defense Production Act "a long time ago" to compel companies to start producing desperately needed medical equipment.

  • "What is [Trump] waiting for," Biden said. "He says he's a wartime president. Well act like one. Move. Fast."

Go deeper: Cuomo pleads with federal government to supply New York with ventilators

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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 18,982,658 — Total deaths: 712,266— Total recoveries — 11,477,642Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 4,873,747 — Total deaths: 159,931 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.
26 mins ago - World

Nuclear free-for-all: The arms control era may be ending

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki have remained unreplicated for 75 years in part because the U.S. and Soviet Union — after peering over the ledge into nuclear armageddon — began to negotiate.

Why it matters: The arms control era that began after the Cuban Missile Crisis may now be coming to a close. The next phase could be a nuclear free-for-all.

Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.