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Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Biden campaign’s new plan after Trump’s diagnosis is the old plan, sources tell Axios: Protect the candidate. Stay the course. No mistakes.

What to watch: Biden and Harris still plan to fly to Arizona on Thursday, but they're traveling from different locations on separate planes. Biden will head to South Florida for an MSNBC town hall on Monday.

  • The campaign is still preparing for two more presidential debates — but it's in discussions with the Commission on Presidential Debates about health and safety protocols.
  • Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, said on ABC's "This Week": "We believe that the debates should go forward as scheduled."

The big picture: Top officials see their spring and summer strategy of limiting Biden’s travel vindicated by events. As of this weekend, they weren't signaling any dramatic final sprint to fill a void left by Trump.

  • That means short, surgical trips, no big rallies, and a strict adherence to state and national COVID-19 guidelines.

Between the lines: Restricted travel doesn’t mean restraining resources. Online cash came rolling in as a backlash to Trump's Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett and after the first presidential debate.

  • Now Biden's campaign is planning to pump millions beyond the $280m in TV and online spending announced in early August into local TV media markets.
  • Democrats expect additional big media buys in Texas and Ohio, states that Trump won handily in 2016 but that polls show could now be in reach for Biden.
  • “We would think that an investment of $25m to $30m would get Biden over the top,” Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas’ Democratic Party chairman, told Axios.
  • “I would love to have him visit, as well,” he said. “But I would rather have the money."

The other side: Trump campaign officials privately admit that his diagnosis has blown up many of their plans in the sprint to November.

  • The Trump campaign was planning to zero in on its "Biden's hiding in the basement" rhetoric for the rest of the month and draw a sharp contrast between the energy seen at Trump's massive rallies and the slimmer crowds at Biden's events.
  • Trump was planning to hold campaign rallies and hobnob with donors in battleground states for the majority of October.
  • "It's OK to press pause for a few days," said Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union. "Now he's got to beat it. ... I am praying for him."

But with Trump in quarantine for the foreseeable future, the campaign is now relying on members of the first family — Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka, and Eric and Lara Trump — to carry the torch as part of a new "Operation MAGA" campaign launched Saturday.

  • Pence will also ramp up his travel schedule.
  • Pence's in-person events will begin after the vice presidential debate on Wednesday.

Go deeper

Biden's plan to calm nation

A hearse carrying the casket of Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died from injuries following the siege, passes the Capitol today. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

With America boiling, President-elect Biden plans to avoid stoking anger over the Capitol siege, and instead he'll focus his public comments this week on combating the coronavirus, advisers tell Axios.

Why it matters: Biden staked his campaign on uniting America across cultural and political divides. While House Democrats pursue Impeachment II, he plans to keep talking to the whole country.

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.