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Pro-Biden group hits Trump's coronavirus response in nationwide TV ad

Updated 2:46 PM ET, Wed March 25, 2020

(CNN) - A group supporting Joe Biden's presidential bid is running a new television ad across the country criticizing President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ad is Unite the Country's first TV spot focused solely on Trump and comes as coronavirus has touched all corners of American life. A narrator in the ad says, "Crisis comes to every president. This one failed."

The 30-second spot called "Crisis Comes" features images of Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, along with a photo of President Barack Obama and Biden in the Situation Room during the 2011 raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

"Crisis comes to every presidency. We don't blame them for that. What matters is how they handle it," the narrator says over those images of past presidents. "Donald Trump didn't create the coronavirus, but he is the one who called 'hoax,' who eliminated the pandemic response team, and who let the virus spread unchecked across America."

The ad is part of a seven-figure ad buy that will air nationwide on a mix of broadcast and cable, a spokesperson with the group said.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh responded to the ad on Wednesday, saying in a statement, "It used to be that Americans faced national adversity with unity, but Joe Biden and his allies have abandoned that principle in favor of rank, despicable politics."

"They offer nothing but partisan sniping from the sidelines and seek to undermine the federal response to the crisis by misinforming and frightening people," he added.

Murtaugh added that Trump was "referring to Democrat and media criticisms of the federal response" when he used the term "hoax."

The coronavirus pandemic has altered life for Americans across the country as millions are under stay at home orders and the economy is at a standstill. The US has seen more than 53,000 cases with more than 700 deaths related to coronavirus.

Though he's sidelined from the campaign trail, Biden has criticized President Trump's handling of coronavirus through live interviews and virtual events airing from a studio set up in the basement of his Delaware home.

"He should stop talking and start listening to the medical experts," Biden told CNN's Jake Tapper Tuesday.

With many states delaying their primary contests due to coronavirus, Biden's campaign has stopped airing television ads until there is a clearer picture of the primary calendar.

Instead, the campaign has turned to a digital format to relay its messaging, including a whiteboard explainer video from Ron Klain, a Biden campaign adviser who led the Obama administration's Ebola response, on Trump's handling of the crisis and Biden's plan to combat the pandemic.


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