January 22, 2019

Harris Wofford, a lifelong Democrat who worked alongside the leaders of the party, died Monday. He was 92, and died in Washington, D.C. after suffering a fall on Saturday, The Washington Post reports.

Wofford served in World War II, and soon went on to a life of civil rights activism. He was "one of the first white students to graduate from the historically black Howard University Law School," the Post writes, and later marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama. He worked on former President John F. Kennedy's campaign, compelling him to meet with King. That move was credited with pushing black voters to overwhelmingly elect Kennedy, per Philly.com.

Wofford spent years as Kennedy's special assistant for civil rights, then left to help found the Peace Corps. He was president of Bryn Mawr College for eight years, chaired Pennsylvania's Democratic Party, and went on to serve in former Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey Sr.'s cabinet. Casey appointed Wofford to the Senate to replace Republican Sen. John Heinz (Pa.), who was killed in an airplane accident in 1991.

In 2008, Wofford introduced then-Sen. Barack Obama before a noteworthy speech on race. And in 2016, he revealed he'd married Matthew Charlton, a man 50 years younger than his 90. Read more about Wofford's life at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk

8:23 p.m.

Federal health employees who met coronavirus evacuees at two California military bases earlier this year did not receive proper training in safety protocols until five days after their arrival, a whistleblower said.

The New York Times obtained a portion of the whistleblower's complaint, which said the workers also did not have adequate protective gear. The whistleblower is described as being a senior leader at the Department of Health and Human Services, and submitted their complaint to the Office of the Special Counsel.

The whistleblower said the workers were "improperly deployed" to March Air Reserve Base and Travis Air Force Base. They went into the quarantined areas where the evacuees were being processed, and then would walk around other areas of the base. At least one worker stayed at a nearby hotel and flew back home on a commercial flight, and only a few knew that they needed to monitor their temperature three times a day.

The whistleblower said that throughout the operation, they fielded "panicked calls" from deployed staffers who "expressed concern with the lack of HHS communication and coordination." When senior Trump administration officials later heard their concerns, the staffers were "admonished," the whistleblower said, and had their "mental health and emotional stability questioned." The staffers believe the administration is trying to "whitewash" what happened, the whistleblower continued, and won't listen to their health and safety concerns.

Travis Air Force Base is in Solano County in Northern California. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first known instance of a person in the United States testing positive for coronavirus without traveling abroad or having known exposure to someone with the virus. The patient lives in Solano County, and the CDC said it is possible they came in contact with a person who caught coronavirus abroad and came to the United States infected. Catherine Garcia

7:03 p.m.

A Syrian government airstrike Thursday in the country's Idlib province killed at least 29 Turkish soldiers, a Turkish official said.

Rahmi Dogan, the governor of Turkey's Hatay province, said additional troops were injured, while the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll higher, at 34. Local media reports that after the airstrike, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called an emergency meeting of his top security officials.

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey have control of some territory in Idlib, and the Syrian government, with the support of Russia, is trying to retake those areas. Turkey began sending more troops to Idlib earlier this month, in an attempt to slow down the Syrian army's advance across the province. The intense fighting has sparked Syria's latest humanitarian crisis, as hundreds of thousands of displaced people are now fleeing toward the Turkish border. Catherine Garcia

4:52 p.m.

Caity Weaver at The New York Times has laid out a fascinating "royal Instagram mystery" proposing that something fishy is afoot when it comes to the follower counts of Prince William and Kate Middleton's @KensingtonRoyal account, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's newer @SussexRoyal account.

"From the outset, @SussexRoyal was runaway popular," Weaver writes, adding that within a month and a half, Harry and Meghan's account amassed as many followers as @KensingtonRoyal had managed in four years. And yet "it seemed, from the outside, that no matter how many followers @SussexRoyal gained, it could never quite catch up" with William and Kate's account.

Coincidence? Or is @KensingtonRoyal "receiving follower boosts in the form of bots" to keep it ahead?

Read more at The New York Times. Jeva Lange

4:33 p.m.

The Lizzie McGuire reboot might be dead in the water, but that isn't stopping Disney+ from going forward with its other nostalgic revivals.

On Thursday, the streamer announced it will be bringing back the animated sitcom The Proud Family with its original voice cast, per Good Morning America. The show, which initially ran from 2001-2005, doesn't have a premiere date yet, although it does have a new name: The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.

"In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell," producers Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar said in a joint statement. Jeva Lange

4:27 p.m.

Coronavirus fears sent U.S. markets into correction territory on Thursday, down more than 10 percent from record highs after days of losses, reports CNBC.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Thursday down almost 1,200 points, or over 4.4 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were each off 4.4 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

President Trump has sought to reassure investors that the coronavirus outbreak, which has affected countries around the world, is only a small worry for the stock market. He said Wednesday the market would recover, claiming the U.S. is "really prepared" for the virus and blaming Democratic presidential candidates for the dip. The Dow has lost more than 3,000 points this week.

The slip is the fastest the stock market has ever dipped into correction territory, per Deutsche Bank. The next-fastest decline occurred in 2018. The Dow and S&P 500 are on pace for their worst weekly performance since 2008, notes CNBC.

3:58 p.m.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be looking for a bump from the Yang Gang.

The Bloomberg campaign has been seeking an endorsement from entrepreneur and former 2020 candidate Andrew Yang and even floated him as a potential running made, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"Aides to the former New York City mayor reached out to discuss ways the two entrepreneurs-turned-politicians could work together as Mr. Bloomberg seeks the Democratic nomination," the Journal writes, although Yang reportedly "didn't commit to join forces."

The Bloomberg campaign told the Journal that Yang isn't being seriously considered to be his running mate, and a senior Bloomberg aide denied to NBC's Josh Lederman that he never was.

Since dropping out of the race, Yang has been a contributor for CNN. He recently took part in a CNN discussion about Bloomberg's debate debut, during which he said the former mayor came across as "lethargic and uninterested" and was not "properly prepared." Yang also theorized Bloomberg has no one on his team "who could be like, 'That was terrible. This is going to potentially damage your campaign to a very, very high degree.'"

Meanwhile, Bloomberg in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday said he'd "consider everybody" to be his running mate should he win the Democratic nomination, but when asked who he's talked to, he shot back, "Why would I tell you?" Brendan Morrow

2:43 p.m.

More than 8,000 people are being monitored for the coronavirus in California, and 33 people have tested positive, the state's governor says.

In a news conference on Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) provided these new numbers, saying that at least 8,400 people are being monitored for the virus, CNBC reports. Newsom also said "as of today at this hour, we have 33 confirmed positive tests for the virus." Of these 33, Newsom said that five people have since moved out of state. Those being monitored in California had traveled to Asia, Bloomberg reports.

This update comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that a person who tested positive for the coronavirus in California might be the first U.S. case of community spread, as they hadn't recently traveled out of the country or come into contact with anyone who had the virus.

Regarding that case, Newsom on Thursday said it "understandably generated a lot of attention," but "we knew this was inevitable." Still, the director of California's Department of Public Health said Thursday per CNBC, "This is a fluid situation right now and I want to emphasize the risk to the American public remains low." Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads