Jason Miller, a senior adviser to President Trump's re-election campaign, argued on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that Joe Biden has often "used the mask as a prop" and defended the campaign's handling of the coronavirus even as Trump remained in the hospital with a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Why it matters: Trump has rarely worn a mask in public and often downplayed its usefulness. A large coronavirus outbreak in the White House has infected over a dozen people in Trump's inner circle, including many who attended a Rose Garden celebration to announce Amy Coney Barrett as the nominee for Supreme Court Justice. Photos of the event show hardly anyone wearing a mask.

What he's saying: "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos pushed Miller on why the president had mocked "former Vice President Joe Biden for wearing a mask and reporters who wore a mask" and why Trump had been so "cavalier" about mask-wearing at his rallies and elsewhere.

  • "We take it seriously. It's why we give everyone coming to rallies or to events, we give them a mask. We check their temperature," Miller said. 
  • "You know, I would say that with regard to Joe Biden, I think too often he's used the mask as a prop. A mask is very important, but even if he's — he could be 20, 30 feet away from the nearest person and still have the mask on," Miller added.
  • "That's not going to change anything that's out there. But also we've seen with — with Joe Biden, I mean, we can't all just stay in our basement for the rest of our lives."

Of note: Even after close Trump aide Hope Hicks was diagnosed with COVID-19, Trump attended a New Jersey fundraiser despite knowing he'd been exposed to the virus.

  • Trump has been in the hospital since Friday. On Saturday night he released a video message that he was "starting to feel good."
  • White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told Fox News late Saturday that Trump's blood oxygen level had "dropped rapidly" after he was diagnosed, but he's now "doing well."

The other side: Biden's deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield appeared on the show later and said Miller's comments "tells you a lot of what you need to know about how the Trump campaign has treated this from the outset."

Go deeper: Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

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Updated 4 hours ago - Health

Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine in COVID-19 precaution

A political display is posted on the outside of the Fox News headquarters on 6th Avenue in New York City in July. Photo: Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Fox News president Jay Wallace and anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum are among those recommended to get tested and quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19, the New York Times first reported Sunday night.

The big picture: The Fox News contingent, which also included "The Five" show hosts Juan Williams and Dana Perino, were on a charter flight from Nashville to New York following Thursday's presidential debate with a person who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
13 hours ago - Health

The swing states where the pandemic is raging

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, The Cook Political Report; Table: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Several states that are likely to decide which party controls Washington next year have exceptionally large coronavirus outbreaks or are seeing cases spike.

Why it matters: Most voters have already made up their minds. But for those few holdouts, the state of the pandemic could ultimately help them make a decision as they head to the polls — and that's not likely to help President Trump.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.