May 18, 2019

Joe Biden to take on Trump in his kickoff speech

Joe Biden at a campaign event in Pennsylvania earlier in May. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Joe Biden is officially kicking off his 2020 campaign with a message about how President Trump is dividing the country on race, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation, according to his campaign.

Details: Biden will say we need a president for everyone — not just Trump's base. And he will ask voters to choose unity (Biden) over division (Trump). His rally will be in Eakin's Oval in downtown Philadelphia and the campaign said they expect 2,000 people. (Kamala Harris' campaign estimated 20,000 people attended her kickoff rally in Oakland, California.)

Why it matters: You'll hear other things, like restoring the soul of America and fighting for the working class. But Biden's focus on Trump fits the general election strategy he's been running all along — and it baits the president to continue attacking him.

  • Biden will say that despite the deep division in the country, there's nothing that Americans can't do, but only if we fix our broken political system.
  • The campaign views this Philly rally as the end to their 3-week campaign launch and the introduction to Biden's third pillar of his message: bringing the country together.
  • There will be watch parties hosted by Biden supporters in all 50 states as well as Puerto Rico.

What to watch: Trump is holding a rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania on Monday to support Fred Keller, a GOP congressional candidate who has a special election on May 21. Expect him to mention Biden at least once.

Go deeper: Biden plots an early kill.

Go deeper

White House recommends Americans wear masks in public

New Yorker wearing a homemade face covering. Photo: Selcuk Acar/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The White House announced that the CDC is recommending Americans wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump said at a press briefing on Friday — emphasizing the guidance is "voluntary."

Why it matters: The use of face coverings could stop people who have the virus, whether they have symptoms or not, from spreading it further when they go out in public.

Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

President Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil, in the wake of rock-bottom prices and an ensuing economic collapse of the sector itself.

Driving the news: Trump’s comments came Friday during a televised portion of a meeting he hosted with industry CEOs to discuss ways to help the sector. It’s reeling from a historic drop-off in demand with the world shutting down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 1,083,084 — Total deaths: 58,243 — Total recoveries: 225,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 266,671 — Total deaths: 6,921 — Total recoveries: 9,445Map.
  3. 2020 latest: Wisconsin governor calls for last-minute primary election delay.
  4. Oil latest: The amount of gasoline American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows.
  5. Business updates: America's small business bailout is off to a bad start.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Senators call for independent investigation into firing of Navy captain.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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