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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

When Joe Biden announces for president later this week, he'll open his campaign with a "climate of the nation" message that takes on President Trump but doesn't directly attack any of the other 2020 Democrats, advisers tell me.

What he'll say: Biden will spell out the stakes for the country, and talk about what kind of people we're going to be. He'll emphasize the kind of politics he's running against, and what kind of leadership the moment calls for.

Some key Democrats are bearish on the 76-year-old's chances, with one of them calling it "a third Obama term, a second Hillary term — take your pick."

  • But Biden will project a "determined" air, advisers say.
  • Friends say Biden has been personally making fundraising calls, a sign of his new focus on a race where he let much of the field form ahead of him.

Biden expects the rest of the field to cut him up, including attacks on his family.

  • But Biden is saying behind the scenes that he's been hurt enough in his life, and this field can't hurt him.
  • "His antenna is up," a friend said. "He's ready for it."
  • And Biden is saying he's more convinced that he can beat Trump than he has been of anything in his political life.

What's next: Look for Biden to announce with a video tomorrow or Thursday, then headline a fundraiser being held by Comcast's David Cohen in Philadelphia.

  • Then expect Biden to hit Pittsburgh early next week.

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Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

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