Feb 25, 2019

Dianne Feinstein's Green New Deal video basically explains the debate on fighting climate change

Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The viral footage of kids organized by the Sunrise Movement urging Sen. Dianne Feinstein to support the Green New Deal resolution says a lot about climate politics in 2019.

Driving the news: Feinstein attacked the resolution as impractical, talked up her long experience and recent re-election, and handed out her own less aggressive resolution. The New York Times describes the encounter here.

Quick take: Friday's confrontation encapsulated competing schools of thought about how to make progress.

  • The GND is about laying down a marker in line with scientific studies that show a shrinking window to enact emissions cuts deep enough to avoid blowing way past the Paris agreement temperature goals.
  • It can't pass now and isn't meant to. But it's aimed at shifting the terms of debate on ambition and, backers hope, feasibility.

But, but, but: Feinstein, in contrast, talks about the Senate vote landscape, noting the absence of GOP support. "The key to good legislation is to tailor something you write so it can pass, and you can get a step ahead," she said.

The big picture: The Washington Post's Greg Sargent got here before me and puts its well, noting on Twitter, "At bottom this episode also showcased a deeper dispute over theories of change."

The intrigue: Sunrise took heat for heavily promoting an edited, roughly 2-minute version of the encounter.

  • Whether or not you think it made Feinstein look worse, this became a big part of the story — and one they could have avoided by calling attention to the full video from the get-go in their press release and tweets.

My thought bubble: It's the growing pains of a new movement, one which recently stumbled when AOC's office released and then pulled back a GND "FAQ" sheet that muddied the waters with claims absent from the underlying resolution.

Between the lines: It does reveal how much the GND has shifted the political plates on the left — Feinstein's resolution calls for achieving net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050 and until just recently, it would have been among the most aggressive plans ever floated by a mainstream Democrat.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

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

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness in COVID-19 the treatment has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

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