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'Lucky': Adviser described COVID-19 as 'best thing that ever happened to' Biden

The Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE presidential campaign was confident the politics surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic would help the Democratic candidate in the presidential race, according to "Lucky," a new book released Tuesday.

“COVID is the best thing that ever happened to him,” senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn told another campaign associate in late March 2020 after then-President TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE had announced initial stay-at-home guidelines for the nation. 

The quotation comes at the end of a chapter titled "It's all turning" that focused on how the pandemic, and the Trump administration's response to it, ended up helping Biden in the presidential race. 

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Before the pandemic hit, polls showed a tight race between Trump and Biden, who in March was just becoming the Democratic front-runner. 

Biden’s campaign found the politics of the pandemic advantageous, given that Biden could be critical of Trump but would not actually have to make decisions himself on how to handle the coronavirus, according to “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency,” by The Hill's Amie Parnes and NBC News's Jonathan Allen. 

The coronavirus became the defining issue of the 2020 presidential race as much of the country shut down and millions of Americans adjusted to a new life in quarantine. Schools, movie theaters, sporting events and restaurants closed, the economy crashed and millions wondered when life would get back to normal. 

Biden repeatedly criticized Trump for mishandling the coronavirus throughout the summer and fall, and Trump himself blamed the pandemic for ruining the economy and his own political fortunes. Trump also sought to blame the pandemic on China, where some of the first cases were found. 

A poll of presidential election voters conducted after the White House race showed that the coronavirus pandemic was a top issue for those who went to the polls in November. Forty-nine percent of voters said the virus was their top issue, ranking higher than any other topic in the poll. Of those voters, 67 percent ended up backing Biden.