October 17, 2019

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) always knew he'd have to make the most of his time in Congress.

Cummings, the leader of the House Oversight Committee, died Thursday at 68 due to "complications concerning longstanding health challenges." He'd represented Baltimore in Congress for the past 23 years, and from his first day on the job, used it to call for finding "common ground" between opposing parties in the chamber.

After he earned his seat in a special election to replace retiring Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Cummings made a short floor speech recalling his time in the Maryland House of Delegates. "Our world would be a much better world, a much better place, if we would only concentrate on the things we have in common," Cummings recalled "often" saying in his previous position. He then relayed how his time in Congress would be centered on "a mission and a vision to empower people," and read a poem by Dr. Benjamin E. Mays to explain how he'd spend the short "minute" of his life.

Watch the whole speech, along with Cummings' first C-SPAN interview, below. Kathryn Krawczyk

6:45 p.m.

The second Democratic debate in a week — and the last before the South Carolina primary on Saturday — airs Tuesday evening on CBS News from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. The debate will also mark the candidates' last chance to appeal to voters ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3, when residents of 16 states and territories will have the opportunity to cast their ballots.

Appearing on the stage in Charleston will be Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who stands as the decisive frontrunner after the Nevada caucuses last Saturday, as well as former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg; former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; former Vice President Joe Biden; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; and billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, who returns after having not qualified for the Nevada debate stage six days ago. CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell and CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King are set to moderate.

The debate will air live on CBS stations (you can find yours here) and stream on Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV via CBSN. The debate can also be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, or watched below on YouTube. Jeva Lange

6:38 p.m.

There are still two weeks left to file for a Senate run in Montana, so Democrats are taking one last shot at convincing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to throw his hat into the ring.

Bullock, who ran a short-lived presidential campaign last year, has always maintained he views himself as an executive and said he doesn't have any interest in sitting in Congress' upper chamber. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer flew out to Montana last weekend, anyway, in the hopes of changing his mind, multiple sources familiar with the meeting told Politico.

It remains to be seen if anything came of it — Bullock's office didn't respond to requests for comment, while a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee declined to comment.

Democrats, who are outnumbered 53-47 in the Senate, believe that if Bullock challenges Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), it will put the state back into play immediately. Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

5:35 p.m.

He was just a little bit off on that one.

During Senate testimony Tuesday, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was grilled by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) about the United States' preparedness for a potential coronavirus outbreak. At one point Kennedy asked Wolf about the virus' fatality rate, which Wolf said was likely somewhere between 1.5 and 2 percent. He then veered off course by telling Kennedy that the flu's fatality rate is in the same ballpark, which is not correct or even particularly close.

Kennedy didn't seem convinced, but opted not to press Wolf more on the flu stats. That didn't mean he let him off the hook generally, however. The senator was not pleased with Wolf's answers to a number of his questions and reportedly grew visibly irate at times, The Hill reports.

The Trump administration as a whole has taken some criticism for what some perceive to be a lackadaisical, overly-optimistic response to the outbreak. Tim O'Donnell

5:13 p.m.

As President Trump capped his visit to India on Tuesday, he praised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment to religious tolerance in the country.

"We did talk about religious freedom, and I will say that the prime minister was incredible in what he told me," Trump said during a press conference. "He wants people to have religious freedom, and very strongly."

It probably isn't realistic to expect Trump to have said anything else or criticize his host, especially after he was so pleased with how he was received during his visit. But the praise was juxtaposed against violent outbreaks in New Delhi on Tuesday spurred by a Modi-backed law, which excludes Muslims from a list of migrant groups who are granted a path to Indian citizenship if they can prove they're fleeing persecution from neighboring countries.

The U.S. State Department and Congress have expressed concern over the citizenship law and other actions viewed as part of a crackdown against India's Muslim population conducted by Modi's Hindu nationalist government. But Trump seemingly wasn't willing to cross that line during his trip. He did say he asked Modi about it, but ultimately he wants to "leave that to India." Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

4:54 p.m.

In a surprise announcement, Disney has named a successor to its longtime CEO Bob Iger, who oversaw a banner year for the company in 2019, including the successful launch of a new streaming service and box office domination. Bob Chapek, the parks division head and a 27-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company, will replace Iger immediately, with Iger assuming the role of executive chairman until his contract ends on Dec. 31, 2021.

"With the successful launch of Disney's direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO," Iger said in a statement.

Iger has headed The Walt Disney Company for the past 15 years, recently publishing a memoir about his experience; the end of his tenure is a "seismic move" for the company, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Others have noted the strange and abrupt timing of Iger's exit, with strategist Matthew Ball observing on Twitter that the decision comes as Iger is "14 months into 36 month extension" and that he "didn't do this during blow-them-away earnings a few weeks ago."

Named the 2019 businessperson of the year by Time, Iger's announcement also follows a year when Disney dominated 33 percent of all domestic box office grosses, marking "the first time since at least 1999 that a single studio has commanded this much box office revenue in the U.S. and Canada," Variety reports. Disney+, which launched last November, garnered a massive 10 million subscribers within a day of its launch.

"Iger is unassailable," Time wrote in its profile last year, before Iger's surprise announcement. "He's transformed his company from a stuffy media doyen into a sexy cultural force. He can glide to retirement in 2021 on the fumes of that triumph." Jeva Lange

4:26 p.m.

One day after President Trump tweeted that the stock market is "starting to look very good to me," the markets once again took a dive.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 879 points on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control came out with a dire warning about the coronavirus, saying its community spread in the United States appeared inevitable and Americans should be ready for the potential of major disruptions in their lives, CNBC reports.

Additionally, the S&P 500 on Tuesday fell about 3 percent, and CNBC notes that "the last time the S&P 500 fell more than 3 percent two days in a row was in November of 2008 during the financial crisis," citing Bespoke Investment Group.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said Tuesday that the coronavirus spreading in the U.S. is "not so much of a question of if" but rather "a question of when," and "we are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad," The New York Times reports.

This came after the Dow on Tuesday plunged 1,031 points in what NBC notes was its worst performance in two years. Brendan Morrow

2:46 p.m.

White House officials aren't on the same page as top health officials.

President Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday told CNBC there was basically nothing to worry about when it comes to the coronavirus' effect on the U.S. "We have contained this. I won't say [it's] airtight, but it's pretty close to airtight," he said. He also reassured viewers that while the coronavirus may be a "human tragedy," it won't be an "economic tragedy," since there aren't any "supply disruptions" just yet.

Supply disruptions may be one thing, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nearly simultaneously warned of incoming "disruption to everyday life," saying the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. is "not so much of a question of if" but rather "a question of when."

As CNN's Phil Mattingly put it, Kudlow's comments are "more or less, the exact opposite of what lawmakers were told in a briefing from top [Trump administration] health officials this morning." FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver seemingly agreed Kudlow's (and President Trump's) comments were misguided, tweeting it "seems very very very very risky for the Trump administration to claim coronavirus is contained in the U.S. if it later proves not to be contained."

Perhaps Kudlow realized he may have sounded a bit too optimistic, because shortly after his CNBC appearance he told reporters the possibility of further travel restrictions are "under discussion." He continued, "I'm going to wait on that. I don't want to get ahead of my skis or their skis. It's all under discussion."

Still, he insisted the U.S. is very prepared for anything the coronavirus may throw our way. "We're not going to get caught with our pants down," he predicted, per Bloomberg's Jennifer Jacobs. "The virus is not going to last forever." Harvard epidemiologists may have something to say about that. Summer Meza

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