Harry Reid. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

In an interview with VICE News, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he thinks Medicare for All and decriminalizing border crossings are the wrong issues to focus on for Democrats to win the White House in 2020.

Why it matters: Both topics have been dividers in the crowded field seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination. While more progressive candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders have long favored Medicare for All, moderates such as former Rep. John Delaney are pushing for a universal health care system, but not Medicare for All.

  • Decriminalizing border crossings has created similar rifts. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has led the effort to remove the misdemeanor penalty. Meanwhile, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet plainly rejects the idea, per the Huffington Post.

What they're saying:

“I think that we should focus on improving Obamacare. We can do that — without bringing something that would be much harder to sell.”
— Harry Reid

On decriminalizing border crossings, Reid said, "There are so many more important things to do. Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list. It should be way, way down at the bottom of the list."

Between the lines: Earlier this month, Reid also came out in favor of killing the filibuster to enact climate change legislation.

Go deeper: Harry Reid calls Trump the "worst president we've ever had"

Go deeper

Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 33,454,037 — Total deaths: 1,003,571 — Total recoveries: 23,204,219Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 7,165,067 — Total deaths: 205,476 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.

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