Updated Apr 1, 2019

Stephanie Carter: Image of Biden's embrace "misleadingly extracted"

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and Stephanie Carter in the viral image. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden, facing scrutiny for his public displays of affection with women after an allegation of inappropriate conduct, was defended Sunday by a woman whose image with him went viral.

In a Medium post titled "'The #MeToo Story That Wasn’t Me," Stephanie Carter said the image of Biden's embrace of her from behind as she watched her husband, Ash Carter, being sworn in as then-President Barack Obama's defense secretary in 2015 was "misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends."

Details: Referring to the image that went viral again this week in her post as "that picture," Carter wrote, " The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful." She explained she had slipped on snow that day and was feeling nervous at the swearing-in ceremony:

By the time then-Vice President Biden had arrived, he could sense I was uncharacteristically nervous- and quickly gave me a hug. After the swearing in, as Ash was giving remarks, he leaned in to tell me “thank you for letting him do this” and kept his hands on my shoulders as a means of offering his support. But a still shot taken from a video — misleadingly extracted from what was a longer moment between close friends — sent out in a snarky tweet — came to be the lasting image of that day.

The backdrop: Nevada Democrat Lucy Flores alleged that Biden leaned in to smell her hair at a campaign event and kissed her on the head at a campaign event in 2014. Biden said in response he did not believe he had acted inappropriately.

The latest: Flores said in an interview on MSNBC with host Kasie Hunt was not alleging Biden sexually assaulted her. "It is an invasion of my personal space," Flores said. "It is a clear a clear invasion of my bodily autonomy to not be touched, unless I give you permission to touch it."

Go deeper: Joe Biden addresses inappropriate touching allegations

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 1,203,923 — Total deaths: 64,795 — Total recoveries: 247,273Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 312,237 — Total deaths: 8,502 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  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.
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World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

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 number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S.

The big picture: About half the planet's population is now on lockdown and the global death toll was nearing 64,800, by Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,500

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

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 8,500 in the U.S. early Sunday, 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: President Trump said Saturday America's is facing its "toughest" time "between this week and next week." Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said U.S. deaths are expected to continue to rise during this period.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health