2020 candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the Democratic presidential debate in a CNN studio in Washington, D.C. on March 15. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

2020 candidate Joe Biden said on MSNBC Tuesday evening it's "hard to envision" the Democratic National Convention going ahead as planned in July when cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise. But he believes elections can take place during pandemics if alternative methods are used — like "drive-in voting."

The big picture: President Trump said earlier Tuesday projections indicated COVID-19 could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans. The virus has killed more than 4,000 people and infected almost 190,000 others as of Wednesday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

What he's saying: During his interview with MSNBC's Brian Williams, the former vice president said there's "no rationale for eliminating or delaying the election." He noted political conventions and elections took place during the Civil War "all the way through to World War II" and that it's important to "listen to the scientists" on the issue.

  • "This is about making sure that we're able to conduct our democracy while we’re dealing with a pandemic. We can do both," Biden said.
  • "It may mean a difference in the way we do it, it may mean that social distancing doesn't get it done, it may mean you have a circumstance where you have drive-in voting ... There's a lot of ways to do it, but we should be talking about it now."

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Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.