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Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Gety Images

Joe Biden's campaign is doubling down on its criticism of President Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus, launching two new 30-second ads today on the heels of Biden's own call for an outdoor mask mandate.

Why it matters: With Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, now in place to amplify and augment the message, the campaign is signaling it will hit Trump on the pandemic every day until Nov. 3.

  • A campaign official tells Axios that “Ready to Lead” will run in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona and Nevada, weaving in Biden’s call for a universal mask mandate with a pledge to produce more protective gear in the U.S.
  • “Dignity,” will cycle into the campaign’s existing media buys targeting seniors, with cuts from Biden’s June 30 coronavirus speech played over scenes of the former vice president comforting older Americans.
  • Both, as well as a 60-second spot released yesterday, are part of existing buys worth $20m this week and $24m next week.

Go deeper: In a new campaign memo, deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield says Trump has told more than 150 lies regarding the coronavirus.

  • “As Vice President Biden has said many times, the American people can face any challenge if you simply tell them the truth, but from the very beginning of this crisis President Trump has refused to be honest with the American people," she says.
  • The memo underscores the Biden campaign’s theory of the election: It will come down the coronavirus and Trump’s response to it.

Between the lines: Bedingfield's memo also signals that, if elected, Biden is prepared to tell Americans things they may not want to hear when it comes to getting the virus under control.

  • Biden suggested the same, when he acknowledged Thursday that masks are “uncomfortable” before adding that a mandate would get “our kids back to school sooner and safer.”

The other side: President Trump appears to welcome a campaign that’s contested over masks, coronavirus and the economy.

  • He accused Biden on Thursday of wanting "the president of the United States with the mere stroke of a pen to order over 300 million American citizens to wear a mask for a minimum of three straight months."
  • But Trump campaign's is more focused on painting Biden as a secret agent of the left, with new ads including footage of Biden saying: "If you elect me, your taxes are gonna be raised, not cut."

Go deeper

Nov 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden aims to deflect fights over first Cabinet picks

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has made his choice for secretary of state, three people familiar with the matter tell Axios, moving quickly to assemble a Senate-confirmable Cabinet even as President Trump refuses to concede the election.

The big picture: Biden already has said he's made his choice for Treasury, and both picks may be aimed at defusing confirmation fights with Senate Republicans and internal battles with Democratic progressives.

Updated Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign asks Georgia for another election recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Georgia will conduct another presidential election results recount following a Trump campaign request on Saturday.

Why it matters: State election officials and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday certified Georgia's election results that show President-elect Joe Biden officially won the state by just over 12,600 votes.

Scoop: Trump lawyers to avoid Michigan lawmaker meeting after COVID exposure

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani and other key members of President Trump's outside legal team won't be attending today's meeting with two Michigan lawmakers because they've been exposed to the coronavirus, two sources familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: This added turmoil inside the president's legal operation comes at a time when the president is urging Republican state lawmakers to interfere with the electoral process and reverse Joe Biden's victory to a Trump win.