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

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden enters final stretch with huge cash advantage over Trump

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3 on Election Day until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.