Show an ad over header. AMP

What to expect from the Biden campaign after Trump's COVID-19 hospitalization

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.

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Keep reading... Show less

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from COVID tracking project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the previous daily case record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded.

Keep reading... Show less

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.

Keep reading... Show less

Universal mask use could save 130,000 lives in U.S.

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.

Keep reading... Show less

Israel and Sudan begin normalization process after call with Trump

Sudan and Israel announced today that they will “end the state of belligerence” between them and start the process of normalizing ties.

Driving the news: The announcement came after a phone call hosted by President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and the head of Sudan's governing council, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Keep reading... Show less

We're all guinea pigs for Tesla's latest self-driving tech

Tesla is beta-testing its latest self-driving technology with a small group of early adopters, a move that alarms experts and makes every road user — including other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists — unwitting subjects in its ongoing safety experiment.

Why it matters: Tesla hailed the limited rollout of its "full self-driving" beta software as a key milestone, but the warnings on the car's touchscreen underscore the risk in using its own customers — rather than trained safety drivers — to validate the technology.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump removes Sudan from state sponsors of terrorism list

President Trump signed Friday an order to remove Sudan from the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list, senior U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: Trump’s signature paves the way for the U.S. and Sudan to move forward on a larger deal — which will also include a Sudanese announcement on normalizing its relations with Israel.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories