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President Trump attacked CNN for continuing to cover the coronavirus pandemic, calling the network "dumb b*stards" at a campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday.

Why it matters: The president's attacks on the media and Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious-disease expert, come as coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are again surging across the country, just two weeks out from Election Day.

  • It's an unusual closing argument in an election campaign that has been dominated this year by the pandemic, which has infected more than 8.1 million Americans, killed over 219,000, and massively disrupted the U.S. and global economy.
  • Over 65% of Americans are either "very" or "somewhat" concerned about contracting the coronavirus, while 57.5% say they disapprove of Trump's handling of the pandemic, according to FiveThirtyEight's average of polls.

What he's saying: “You turn on CNN, that’s all they cover: COVID, COVID, pandemic, COVID, COVID … that’s all they cover. You know why? They’re trying to talk everyone out of voting. People are not buying it CNN, you dumb b*stards," Trump said to a crowd of cheering supporters.

  • Turning to Joe Biden, Trump accused his Democratic challenger of wanting to "listen to Dr. Fauci" — a riff on an apparent attack on Saturday in which the president said Biden will "listen to the scientists" if elected.
  • Trump also questioned whether CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, whom the president calls "Fredo," really had the coronavirus. Cuomo tested positive for the virus in late March.

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Jan 26, 2021 - Health

U.K. surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

Photo: Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

The U.K. on Tuesday surpassed 100,000 coronavirus deaths almost a year after the first two cases were reported in the country, according to government figures.

Why it matters: It is the first European country and fifth country in the world to reach the threshold. The country reported 100,162 deaths on Tuesday.

Jan 26, 2021 - Health

Biden admin to boost COVID vaccine delivery to states for at least 3 weeks

Vice President Harris receives her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.