Ads backed by Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who briefly ran for president this year, began running in Florida on Friday, part of his pledge to spend $100 million in the key battleground state to support Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s candidacy. One of the first two Bloomberg-backed ads, from Priorities USA Action, attacks President Trump’s bungled response to the coronavirus.
Priorities USA Action, the largest Democratic super PAC, already ran a version of this ad earlier this year — and Mr. Trump hated it so much that his campaign filed a defamation lawsuit in April against a local Wisconsin television station for carrying it.
With deaths from the coronavirus nearing 200,000 in the United States, the updated ad is intended to underscore the extent to which Mr. Trump publicly dismissed the coronavirus even as the death toll in the United States from the virus continued to rise. As ominous music plays, recordings of Mr. Trump’s past remarks about the coronavirus are superimposed over a timeline showing the number of deaths:
“This is their new hoax.”
“We think the deaths will be at a very low number.”
“We have it totally under control.”
“One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”
The updated version of the ad includes a recording of Mr. Trump’s damning admission to the journalist Bob Woodward that he had intentionally played down the threat of the virus: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.” It concludes with Mr. Trump asserting that he does not take any responsibility “at all” for the pandemic.
Mr. Trump has consistently minimized the dangers of the coronavirus and asserted that it would disappear on its own. He has dismissed the efficacy of wearing masks, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, gleefully flouted public health guidelines and just this week, publicly undermined Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for contradicting his suggestion that a potential vaccine could be ready for Americans before Election Day.
The trend line shown in the ad tracks with the rising death toll, although Mr. Trump’s quotes do not appear to be pegged to the timeline itself.
Where It’s Running
The ad is airing in markets across Florida.
Mr. Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic has become one of the Democratic Party’s most preferred attack lines with just weeks until the general election. And it is one they hope will be particularly resonant with voters: Polls show many voters are unhappy with how Mr. Trump’s responded to the public health crisis.
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