A Democratic super PAC has launched a $15 million ad campaign criticizing President Trump for initially praising China’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and donating U.S. personal protective equipment to China, in a move to counter pro-Trump ads painting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as soft on China.

The new television and digital ad campaign by American Bridge’s super PAC will launch Friday and is designed to match a $10 million effort by America First Action, the main pro-Trump super PAC, labeling the presumptive Democratic nominee “Beijing Biden.” Ads by both groups will run in the same television markets in three states crucial in November: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Trump and his allies increasingly are seizing on China’s role in the spread of the novel coronavirus to attack Biden as the death toll and job losses continue to rise.

The pro-Trump America First’s ads criticizing Biden’s past approaches to China follows a Trump campaign ad on the same theme. Trump also has begun using China and coronavirus in his fundraising appeals.

Trump fundraising committee attacks China’s handling of coronavirus in pitch for campaign donations

American Bridge, one of the major Democratic super PACs running anti-Trump ad campaigns focused on swing states, aims to counter the Trump operation’s narrative.

The group’s new ad criticizes Trump for praising Chinese President Xi Jinping in February over his coronavirus response, despite widespread skepticism of Beijing’s account of the number of people who were infected and who had died from the disease.

The ad also blasts Trump for sending 17.8 tons of personal protective equipment to China in February, alleging Trump’s decision contributed to the shortage of such gear in the U.S.

“Donald Trump sent critical medical supplies to China as Americans continue to suffer. He needs to follow his supposed motto of America First,” American Bridge President Bradley Beychok said in a statement. “We’re making sure that voters across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin know full well not only how badly Trump botched this crisis, but also how badly he bent the knee to China in the midst of it as well.”

Most Americans believe Trump was too slow in his early response to the coronavirus outbreak, and his initial response to the outbreak is widely criticized, a new Pew Research Center survey shows.

American Bridge said the ad is the first of its new offensive campaign targeting Trump, his company, business associates and adult children over their ties to China and other foreign investments.

The group said it plans on rolling out microtargeted digital ads on that theme as part of “an all-out assault on Trump and his family over their corruption — in China and other countries — involving foreign bribes, political favors, shady real estate investments, and parties with dictators.”

“Hardworking Americans are paying for the president’s failures, and we’re not going to be shy about holding him accountable,” Beychok’s statement read.

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