Democratic super PAC Priorities USA said on Thursday it planned to expand its use of an advertisement critical of President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic despite the Trump re-election campaign's efforts to stop it. Many even called Trump "covididiot".
The ad, which is titled Exponential Threat, splices together different audio clips of Trump downplaying the virus over a graphic showing the number of cases on the rise.
Priorities USA said the ad was still running in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and would be expanded into Arizona over the next few weeks.
The 30-second ad was funded by the Priorities USA Super PAC, which supports former Vice President Joe Biden, who now leads the Democratic primary race and is expected to run against Trump in the November general election.
Discovered in China in late December, the coronavirus quickly spread around the world in the weeks afterward, when the first USA case documented almost a month later on January 20. "Trump's inaction and lies are continuing to hurt millions of Americans and he must be held accountable".
It threatened litigation if stations refused to pull the ad.
"This is the sort of letter that stations get in political years, day in and day out", said Jack Goodman, a Washington broadcast attorney.
However, fact-checkers have said it is wrong to claim that Trump ever called the coronavirus a hoax.
Meanwhile, Trump's own words about the coronavirus are being used against him in a scathing TV ad that his 2020 campaign has been desperately trying to ban from the airwaves - which led thousands of Twitter users to retweet it. "We really think we've done a great job in keeping it down to a minimum".
"It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control", Trump continued then. "It's - going to be just fine".