Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks to reporters outside her home in Cambridge, Mass., on New Year's Eve, accompanied by her husband, Bruce Mann, and their golden retriever, Bailey. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

After two months of behind-the-scenes jockeying since the midterms, the Democrats' race for president is about to burst into the open with a series of candidacy announcements and staff hires, 2020 operatives tell me.

What's happening: "This has been a slow dance," one top strategist said. "No one was in a rush — people said they would make a decision over the holidays. Now, the pace is about to change fast."

A wave of announcements, like the one Sen. Elizabeth Warren made on New Year's Eve morning, is planned for the next few weeks.

  • The hopefuls need to raise money, and need an organization for housing the aides they want to hire to take them off the hot 2020 job market.
  • Look for announcements this month by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and likely others.
  • "They need a vehicle," the strategist said. That could include an exploratory committee or a full candidacy.

I'm told that "the Bs" — Biden, Bernie, Beto and the billionaires, including Mike Bloomberg — can wait longer because they'll be able to quickly raise money.

  • Be smart: A veteran of Democratic presidential campaigns said top aides will start to jump to campaigns this month. But many of the "big-time consultants, many of whom have multiple possible 2020 clients," will take longer.

Go deeper: The Democrats' 2020 crowd jumps the gun

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 4,998,105 — Total deaths: 162,425 — Total recoveries: 1,643,118 — Total tests: 61,080,587Map.
  3. Politics: Trump signs 4 executive actions on coronavirus aid — Democrats, and some Republicans, criticize the move
  4. Public health: Fauci says chances are "not great" that COVID-19 vaccine will be 98% effective — 1 in 3 Americans would decline COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Science: Indoor air is the next coronavirus frontline.
  6. Schools: How back-to-school is playing out in the South as coronavirus rages on — Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Howard to hold fall classes online.
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro posted a photo of himself to Facebook congratulating his soccer team, Palmeiras, for winning the state title Saturday, moments after the health ministry confirmed the national COVID-19 death toll had surpassed 100,000.

Why it matters: Brazil is only the second country to confirm more than 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus. On Sunday morning, it became the second country to surpass 3 million cases, per Johns Hopkins. Only the U.S. has reported more. Bolsonaro has yet to address the milestones. He has previously tested positive for COVID-19 three times, but he's downplayed the impact of the virus, which has crippled Brazil's economy.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with the latest coronavirus case numbers and more context.

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Republicans and Democrats react to Trump's coronavirus aid action

President Trump speaks to workers at a manufacturing facility in Clyde, Ohio, on Thursday. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing President Trump Saturday night for taking executive action on coronavirus aid, with Democratic leaders demanding the GOP return to negotiations after stimulus package talks broke down a day earlier.

Why it matters: Trump could face legal challenges on his ability to act without congressional approval, where the constitutional power lies on federal spending. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) was the most vocal Republican critic, saying in a statement: "The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop."