Jan 12, 2019

Kamala Harris sets the stage for a 2020 run

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

As 2020 inches closer — with Sen. Elizabeth Warren spending a weekend in Iowa, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard throwing her hat in the ring and former Vice President Joe Biden telling friends he's "definitely running" — Sen. Kamala Harris is getting closer to making a decision.

The big picture: The New York Times reports that Harris is believed to be "well positioned to create electoral coalitions among Democrats desperate" to beat Trump in 2020. But some worry that in a crowded field of Democratic candidates, Harris may not be liberal enough for voters, and could be in a tough spot if other progressive challengers "try to to move the debate to the left in ways that could force difficult choices for her," the Times explains.

Driving the news: On Friday night, Harris laid "the groundwork for a national profile" on a book tour stop in New York, where she discussed criminal justice reform, standing up to the White House, bipartisanship and more, the Times' Astead Herndon reports.

  • Herndon notes that Harris "speaks less about Wall Street corruption and economic populism" than potential 2020 challengers Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
  • Harris has gained supporters for her notorious grilling of Trump administration officials on the Senate Judiciary Committee, but continues to face criticism from criminal justice activists because of policies she put in place as California's attorney general.
  • One woman who came to Harris' book tour stop on Friday, 33-year-old Sarah Weiss, said: “She keeps saying there’s more that connects us than divides us, but at this time in politics, it seems like that’s not enough.”
  • Another woman at the event, 50-year-old Vaolree Celona, said: "Her message of unity, that's the key. If she can get people to have that hope again, that's what's important. That's what President Obama did."

Go deeper: Our 2020 election tracker.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 1,187,798 — Total deaths: 64,084 — Total recoveries: 245,949Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 301,902 — Total deaths: 8,175 — Total recoveries: 14,505Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus. America's small business bailout off to bad start.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,000 in the U.S. on Saturday afternoon, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health