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Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

What he's saying: "What's his closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID. He said this at one of his rallies —'COVID, COVID, COVID,' he's complaining," Obama said.

  • "He's jealous of COVID's media coverage. If he had been focused on COVID from the beginning, cases wouldn't be reaching new record highs across the country this week."
  • "If we were focused on COVID now, the White House wouldn't be having its second outbreak in a month. ... He's turned the White House into a hot zone."

The big picture: Obama, one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, has been out campaigning for Biden in the final stretch of the election season. He urged Floridians on Tuesday to "reclaim" American values like democracy, science and tolerance by voting Trump out of office.

  • "Joe and Kamala, when they're in office, you're not going to have to think about them every single day," Obama said at one point.
  • "You're not going to have to worry about what crazy things they're going to say, what they're going to tweet. They're just going to be too busy doing the work."
  • "You'll be able to go about your lives knowing that the president's not going to retweet conspiracy theories about secret cabals running the world."

The other side: Trump tweeted as Obama was speaking, "Now @FoxNews is playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn’t believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes."

Go deeper

Georgia election official to Trump: Condemn “potential acts of violence”

Gabriel Sterling. Photo: Jessica McGowan via Getty

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting implementation manager, called on President Trump and the state's Republican senators to denounce threats against election workers in a press conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: State election workers have been the recipients of death threats after conspiracy theorists shared false videos about the election results on social media. Trump and his allies continue to claim widespread election fraud took place in the state.

3 mins ago - World

Israeli parliament opts for early elections in preliminary vote

Netanyahu (C) arrives in parliament today. Photo: Alex Kolomiensky/Pool/AFP via Getty

After six months of a dysfunctional power-sharing government, Israel is headed for its fourth elections in less than two years, most likely at the end of March.

Driving the news: The Knesset voted 61-54 today to approve the preliminary reading of a bill to dissolve the parliament and call new elections. Benny Gantz's Blue and White party supported the bill while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and the rest of the coalition voted against.

1 hour ago - Sports

The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said yesterday.

Why it matters: If Fauci's prediction comes true, it could save countless programs from going extinct next year.

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