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Joe Biden speaks at an event in March in Delware. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Watch for Joe Biden and his surrogates to stand up a disciplined criticism of President Trump's coronavirus response around "the four Cs," per a campaign memo obtained by Axios: "Coverup." "Chaos." "Corporate favoritism." And "caving" to lobbyists.

Why it matters: The memo signals the presumptive Democratic nominee's intention to make Trump's handling of the pandemic a central attack and provides the first detailed look at how his campaign intends to do it.

  • It was sent Tuesday to Democratic strategists and elected officials by deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
  • She wrote that many of its recipients have sought guidance from the campaign on how to talk about Trump and the virus.

Details: Trump is "responsible for unimaginable pain and suffering — and we need to be clear and unshakeable in communicating this to the American people," the memo says.

  • It charges that Trump bought China's "spin" and "went AWOL" early in the crisis even as "other countries, like our ally South Korea, mobilized and ramped up testing.".
  • It urges a public emphasis on two areas of impact: the death toll ("Over 40,000 Americans have already lost their lives to COVID-19") and unemployment rates ("We are losing millions of jobs at an unprecedented speed in our history.")
  • It argues that Trump was slow to enact the Defense Production Act because he was "caving to lobbying from big corporations worried that it would hurt their profits."

Between the lines: Biden's campaign team believes the coronavirus highlights contrasts in leadership between Trump and Biden — and they hope it can help Biden at the ballot box.

  • Biden told donors during a virtual fundraiser last week: "Your friends and coworkers are dying, our family members and friends and neighbors are dying, while Trump is having a temper tantrum."
  • The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has signaled plans to paint Biden as "soft" on China.

Memo link here.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus testing still can't keep up with demand

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Testing is once again becoming a critical weakness in the America's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and experts say we may need to revive tighter standards about who can get a test.

Why it matters: Although testing has gotten a lot better over the course of the pandemic, the pandemic has gotten worse, and that means the U.S. needs to prioritize its resources — which might mean that frequent testing solely to help open businesses or schools just isn't feasible.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to buy 500 million more Pfizer doses to share with the world — Fauci: Vaccine could be available for children 5–11 in "weeks" — Biden to get booster shot on camera.
  2. Health: Care for kidney disease plummeted in the pandemic — Manufacturers warn rapid test shortages are coming — Study: Pandemic cut U.S. life expectancy by more than 9 million years.
  3. Politics: Brazil's health minister tests positive during UN summit in N.Y. — Massachusetts State Police union sues over governor's vaccine mandate — Biden to push vaccine-sharing at UN, but boosters at home.
  4. Education: Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban — D.C. schools to require teachers, staff to receive vaccine without testing option — More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jul 31, 2020 - Economy & Business

Health care industry tops list of most-favored amid coronavirus

Data: Harris Poll COVID19 Tracker Wave 20; Chart: Axios Visuals

Doctors, nurses and hospitals have experienced a greater increase in consumer trust and confidence than any other industry during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new Axios/Harris poll.