Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Saturday released a new digital ad in key battleground states meant to counter President Donald Trump’s efforts to portray him as soft on China.
The ad is part of a coordinated response on behalf of the Biden campaign aiming to highlight Trump’s slow response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has cost over 35,000 lives in the U.S. and ground the economy to a standstill.
Trump in recent days has sought to pin the blame for the spread of the disease on China and the World Health Organization, even though he praised both in the early stages of the outbreak, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“When Trump rolled over for the Chinese, he took their word for it. Trump praised the Chinese 15 times in January and February as the coronavirus spread across the world,” the narrator in the Biden ad says, as images of various Trump tweets flash on the screen.
Biden’s campaign said the ad will run online in the key battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina and Florida.
Last week, Trump’s reelection campaign released a montage of Biden meeting with Chinese government officials during his time as vice president, claiming that Biden “stands up for China.” The ad included Gary Locke, who at the time was the U.S. ambassador to China — falsely implying that Locke, a third-generation Chinese American, is a Chinese government official.
China has emerged as a major campaign issue during the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this week, a pro-Trump super PAC announced a $10 million ad campaign in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin targeting the former vice president over China. The pro-Biden group American Bridge responded with its own $15 million ad campaign in the same battleground states.
Watch the new Biden campaign ad below: