Lucy Flores speaks to Jake Tapper on CNN yesterday.

A paragraph that a 76-year-old white male candidate for the Democratic nomination doesn't want to see, from a front-page story in today's NY Times:

Biden has drawn attention in the past for his intimate touching of political allies, their family members and even supporters he has just met — gestures that are seen as excessive to the point of creepy by some but viewed as harmless by his defenders.

The former vice president issued a new statement designed to defuse the damage from Friday's accusation by a Nevada politician, who appeared on CNN yesterday, that a kiss on the back of her head in 2014 was "gross":

  • "[N]ot once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention."

Lucy Flores, who was running for Nevada lieutenant governor when she appeared with Biden, said of the new statement: "I certainly think that it's better than his first statement."

  • "Frankly, my point was never about his intentions."
  • "It should be about the women on the receiving end of that behavior. And this isn't the first time, and it wasn't the only incident, where he was acting inappropriately with women." 

Stephanie Carter, an entrepreneur married to former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, defended Biden in a Medium post about an online shot from 2015, of Biden comforting her after she slipped on ice before her husband's swearing-in:

  • "[A]s Ash was giving remarks, [Biden] kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support."
  • "But a still shot taken from a video  —  misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends ... came to be the lasting image of that day."

Go deeper

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Updated 4 hours ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1,700 firefighters are battling 26 major wildfires across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 3.9 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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