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South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg acknowledged his struggle with black voters at the 5th Democratic debate Wednesday, saying that he welcomes "the challenge" and relates to the fight for civil rights through his experience as a gay man.

BUTTIGIEG: "I welcome the challenge of connecting with black voters in America who don't yet know me ... and I care about this because, while I do not have the experience of ever having been discriminated against because of the color of my skin, I do have the experience of sometimes feeling like a stranger in my own country. Turning on the news and seeing my own rights come up for debate, and seeing my rights expanded by a coalition of people like me and people not at all like me, working side by side, shoulder to shoulder, making it possible for me to be standing here wearing this wedding ring in a way that couldn't have happened two elections ago, lets me know just how deep my obligation is to help those whose rights are on the line every day even if they are nothing like me in their experience."

Why it matters: Buttigieg has largely failed to gain the support of black voters. He was criticized for demoting South Bend's black police chief prior entering the presidential race. His leadership was also questioned following an officer-involved shooting of a black man in his city in July. The mayor took a leave of absence from the campaign to respond to the community's concerns.

  • Buttigieg was also criticized this week over his campaign for using a stock photo of a Kenyan woman to illustrate his plan to advance America's black communities.
  • A campaign spokesperson apologized for the use of the photo, per USA Today, but added that the use of stock photos is "standard practice across many campaigns."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that Mayor Pete Buttigieg did not fire South Bend's police chief. Buttigieg demoted the city's police chief prior to entering the presidential race.

Go deeper

Biden: Disappointing jobs report shows recovery is a "marathon," not a "sprint"

President Biden said Friday that the disappointing April jobs report, which showed the U.S. economy added just 266,000 jobs last month, underscores the importance of the COVID-19 relief package and his other proposed spending plans.

Why it matters: Economists had expected a gain of around 1 million jobs last month, making this the biggest payrolls miss, relative to expectations, in decades.

1 hour ago - Health

WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

A medical worker administering a coronavirus vaccine in Nanjing, China, on May 7, 2021. Photo: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The World Health Organization authorized China’s Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the sixth vaccine to receive clearance from the global health agency.

Why it matters: The authorization will allow COVAX, the WHO's initiative to equitably develop and distribute coronavirus vaccines, to purchase Sinopharm's vaccine and bolster its supply, according to the New York Times.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: Amazon postpones Prime Day sales in India and Canada over coronavirus surge — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell — True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.