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Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harrisat the 50th NAACP Image Awards in Hollywood in March. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Leading Democrats including presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro spoke out against an increasing lack of diversity in the 2020 race following the exit of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Tuesday.

Why it matters: The six candidates who've qualified for the upcoming debate are all white: former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sens. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and billionaire Tom Steyer.

  • Booker noted on MSNBC that the Democratic race is "spiraling towards" a December debate that "could have six people with no diversity whatsoever."

The big picture: Harris had qualified for the next debate, but she bowed out after struggling in recent polls. The other candidates of color have yet to meet Democratic National Committee debate requirements. Candidates have until Dec. 12 to qualify.

  • Fox News notes businessman Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) met the donor threshold qualification "but have yet to meet the polling requirement."
  • Neither Booker nor Castro have qualified met the requirements so far.

What they're saying: Several liberal activists and progressive groups have spoken out on the lack of diversity in the Democrats' race now.

  • Democratic strategist Michael Starr Hopkins told Fox News the DNC "thought it would help progressives" with its new requirements, "but it ended up hurting campaigns like Harris, Booker, and Castro. "Instead of focusing on building infrastructure, they had to spend insane amounts on donor lists to get on the debate stage," he said.
  • Castro told BuzzFeed the media had held Harris to a double standard because candidates of color are treated differently. He also addressed the DNC debate's diversity issue in a video posted to Twitter.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

17 mins ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

1 hour ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

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