Updated Apr 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Scientists and climate experts endorse Joe Biden for president

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Over 80 scientists, including prominent climate experts, are out with an open letter endorsing Joe Biden just ahead of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Why it matters: The letter comes as Biden is seeking to consolidate support among progressives who prefer Sen. Bernie Sanders' more aggressive climate platform.

What they're saying: "We are confident that, unlike President Trump, Joe Biden will respect, collaborate with, and listen to leaders in the scientific community and public health experts to confront the existential climate crisis and other environmental threats," the letter states.

  • "Biden’s plan to address climate change leads with science and facts and pledges U.S. leadership on climate action," it states.

Who they are: Signatories include the prominent Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann and Jane Lubchenco, who ran NOAA under former President Obama.

Catch up fast: Biden yesterday signaled that he plans to expand his climate platform. And Sanders' endorsement of Biden last week included the announcement of plans to form joint policy "task forces," with climate among the topics.

Go deeper: Joe Biden signals expanded climate plan as a "key objective"

Editor's note: This story has been updated as more scientists have signed onto the letter.

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Election official at a polling place at McKinley Technology High School in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the midst of a global pandemic and national protests over the death of George Floyd, eight states and the District of Columbia held primary elections on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, needs to win 425 of the 479 delegates up for grabs in order to officially clinch the nomination. There are a number of key down-ballot races throughout the country as well, including a primary in Iowa that could determine the fate of Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

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North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in 2018. Photo: Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

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The big picture: The late-night tweet came after North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) told convention organizers earlier Tuesday that Republicans should plan for a "scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings" given the impact of the pandemic.

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Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: Even with early curfews in New York City and Washington, D.C., protesters are still out en masse. Some protesters in D.C. said they were galvanized by President Trump's photo op in front of St. John's Church on Monday and threat to deploy U.S. troops in the rest of country if violence isn't quelled, NBC News reports.