March 27, 2019

Joe Biden is certainly biding his time.

The former vice president has done nothing but tease a 2020 campaign for the last few months, even mistakenly saying he was running in a speech earlier this month. Yet Biden still hasn't made it official, and there's a chance he'll drag this whole ordeal out until Easter week, people familiar with his plans tell CNBC.

About a month ago, Biden was "90 percent" sure he would take on President Trump in 2020. More recent reports put him at 95 percent, and even set him up with a potential running mate. He'll take yet another baby step next week, meeting with "top advisers" to figure out just how to execute an official announcement, CNBC reports. A campaign announcement video is barely in the works, as Biden's team is reportedly still figuring out which parts of his platform to highlight. Infrastructure reform is reportedly at the top of the list.

While most decisions still seem uncertain, one person tells CNBC that Biden has decided to announce his 2020 run from Delaware. Also on Wednesday, Biden apologized for what's been seen as a massive weakness in his campaign: How he handled the Anita Hill hearing during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' 1991 confirmation.

Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate who Biden reportedly might pick as his VP, hinted Wednesday she may not be on board. Kathryn Krawczyk

5:07 a.m.

"With the presidential election right around the corner, the big question is no longer 'Will Donald Trump try to cheat?'" Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "It's now become, 'How will Donald Trump try to cheat?' And with more Americans than ever expected to vote by mail due to coronavirus, it looks like he's zeroing in on his plan" — kill the messenger. "Only Donald Trump is weird enough to have beef with the mail," Noah sighed. "Every day he's less and less like a president more like a neighbor in a sit-com."

It's not a laughing matter, though. Trump and his allies are "spending $20 million to sue mail-in voting," Noah said. "And because lawsuits alone won't stop mail-in voting, the other part of Trump's plan is to just stop the mail" by "trying to sabotage the Post Office." To carry out his "crusade against mail-in ballots," Trump has "installed a close political ally who just happened to start slowing down the mail, which means that come November, a lot of votes that are supposed to make it by Election Day might not," he added. "It also means that in the meantime, all the other mail is getting delayed, and it's having a huge effect on people's lives," and not in a good way.

"The president knows he can't win in November with a majority of votes, so instead he's trying to undermine the integrity of the election by sabotaging the Post Office," Seth Meyers agreed at Late Night. For example, "late on Friday, the Postal Service announced a massive restructuring that centers power around the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, a Trump loyalist who donated over $360,000 to the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee," he said. "Right off the bat you know it's shady because they did it late on a Friday night."

Meyers explained the years-old push by Republicans and conservative donors to privatize the U.S. Postal Service — which is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — and the huge part they played in forcing the USPS's current financial woes. "And whether or not Trump actually succeeds in stopping mail-in voting is almost beside the point," he said. "Either way he's sowing confusion, setting up lengthy court battles, and laying he groundwork to claim the results are disputed, even if they're not. He's made that as clear as possible." Watch below. Peter Weber

3:30 a.m.

More than 200 Florida residents age 25 to 44 have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic, and more than half of those deaths were recorded in July, The New York Times reports, citing an analysis of Florida Department of Health data. That's a small slice of the more than 8,000 COVID-19 deaths in the state, the Times notes, but "the number of younger adults who died of the disease quadrupled last month, underscoring a bitter mathematical reality: As more and more young people test positive for the coronavirus, more of them will die."

The share of younger Americans dying has ticked up across the U.S., and COVID-19 is now a leading cause of death among that age bracket, "roughly comparable to the number of younger people who were murdered over the same time period in recent years," the Times reports. "Health officials have worried that young people have been overly reckless in resuming social activities at parties and bars, and the number of infections among younger people has soared. However, the young people who are dying are not necessarily those who got sick at a party."

Instead, the young adults who died from COVID-19 tended to contract the disease at work, or en route to work on public transit, and they were disproportionately Black. About 18 percent of Floridians 25 to 44 are Black, but they have accounted for 44 percent of deaths in that age cohort, the Times reports. "Black Floridians over 65 are dying at twice the rate of white residents, but among younger adults, the death rate is nearly three times as high." The death rate for Latinos is roughly equal to non-Hispanic white Floridians.

"We've had this notion in people's heads that it's okay because young people don't get sick from this virus and young people certainly don't die from it," Cindy Prins, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Florida, tells the Times. "Well, that isn't true. Young people are getting sick. Young people are dying." Read more at The New York Times. Peter Weber

1:58 a.m.

Stephen Colbert began Tuesday's Late Show with a few minutes of deadpan commentary on primaries, before hitting the day's big political news: "This afternoon, Joseph R. Biden officially announced that his running mate will be California Sen. Kamala Harris."

"This is an historic announcement, because Harris is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party," Colbert said. "So Trump's gonna have a hard time deciding exactly how to be racist about her." Biden was expected to pick a woman of color, he said, "but still, Sen. Harris is a surprising choice considering just how hard she went after him — I mean with hammer and tongs — over bussing, issues of racial equality."

"Say what you want about Joe, but the man went Black and he's not going back," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "And I've got to say, I'm impressed that Biden picked Kamala even after she destroyed him at that debate. In fact, part of me thinks he only picked her so that she can just never dust his ass in public again. This isn't a VP pick, it's an insurance policy. And I'm really interested to see what the Trump campaign's line of attack is going to be on Kamala," he added, explaining how "everything she's done in her career appeals to Trump's base."

"Kamala is the daughter of two immigrants, she went to Howard University, she's a Democratic senator from California — that's an inspiring story, unless you're Trump, then it's a Stephen King novel," Jimmy Fallon joked at The Tonight Show. "She's only had the job for a few hours, but Kamala's already gearing up for her debate with Mike Pence — that's why she spent the entire day arguing with a mannequin at Kohl's." He tried out a Biden impersonation to illustrate how popular Harris might be.

"It was down to me and Kamala, but Joe wanted to go with someone who has 'experience,'" Sarah Cooper joked on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Like Harris, Cooper is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and while neither of her parents was born in India, like Harris' mother, her former employer, Google, evidently thought Cooper was Indian, not Black, she said, "because they kept promoting me." Cooper fielded personal questions from her fans, and she answered them all with her trademark Trump lip-syching. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:56 a.m.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, expressed his doubts over Russia's claim that it has quickly created a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe and effective.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that his health ministry has approved a vaccine after just two months of trials. It "works effectively enough," he said, adding that his daughter has received a dose.

During a virtual panel discussion with National Geographic on Tuesday, Fauci said he hopes the Russians have "actually, definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective. I seriously doubt they've done that." There are several vaccine candidates being tested in the U.S. right now, Fauci continued, and "if we wanted to take the chance of hurting a lot of people, or giving them something that doesn't work, we could start doing this, you know, next week if we wanted to. But that's not the way it works."

The Russian vaccine has not gone through Phase III testing, when scientists compare the vaccine to a placebo in tens of thousands of people, The New York Times reports. This is not the time to cut corners, Fauci said, and Americans need to know that the U.S. isn't rushing to produce a vaccine "because we have a way of doing things in this country that we care about safety." Worldwide, there are more than 20 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, with at least 737,000 people dying of the virus. Catherine Garcia

1:20 a.m.

Using a metal detector, an amateur treasure hunter made an incredible discovery in a Scottish field.

Mariusz Stepien was searching for objects near the village of Peebles, south of Edinburgh, when he found several items dating back to the Bronze Age, including jewelry and a sword. He told The Associated Press he began "shaking with happiness," and "felt from the very beginning that this might be something spectacular and I've just discovered a big part of Scottish history."

He was right. Archaeologists from the Scottish government's Treasure Trove Unit spent 22 days digging up artifacts from the field, and on Monday, they announced that this was only the second Bronze Age hoard ever excavated in the country. With Stepien and a few of his friends looking on, the archaeologists uncovered rings, buckles, the axle caps from a chariot, and a horse harness.

This was a "nationally significant find," Emily Freeman, the head of the Treasure Trove Unit, told AP. "It was an amazing opportunity for us to not only recover bronze artifacts, but organic material as well. There is still a lot of work to be done to assess the artifacts and understand why they were deposited." The items, as well as some dirt from the field, are now at the National Museums Collection Center in Edinburgh. Catherine Garcia

12:13 a.m.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex is concerned that the country is going "the wrong way" when it comes to the coronavirus, as the number of new cases has almost doubled in the last 24 hours.

Since Monday, 1,397 new infections have been reported by France's health ministry and 14 people have died. During a press conference in Montpellier on Tuesday, Castex said the "epidemiological situation . . . is deteriorating," as "about 25 new clusters are identified every day compared to five three weeks ago."

A ban on gatherings of more than 5,000 people has been extended to Oct. 30, and Castex called on local authorities to also lengthen mask requirements. Nationwide, people must wear face coverings while inside government offices, stores, and on public transportation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 30,000 people have died of the coronavirus in France. Catherine Garcia

August 11, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's pick of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate got a positive reception from Democrats. But what about the Republicans hoping to defeat President Trump this fall? Well, the GOP operatives behind the Lincoln Project approve, they signaled in a new ad released just hours after Biden announced his pick.

"Joe Biden is the president for this moment," the ad's female narrator says. "Standing with him, Kamala Harris, a strong voice for a better America. Daughter of immigrants, a passion for justice, a happy warrior in the battle for the soul of America. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is the America we believe in, where hard work means more than family wealth, where compassion and kindness are strengths, not weaknesses. This is the America of our better angles. ... Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — it's time."

You can disagree with the Lincoln Project's politics — or not even really understand their politics — but you have to admire their speed. Peter Weber

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