Former Vice President Joe Biden says "folks" think Mayor Pete Buttigieg's removal of an African American police chief is a problem when it comes to his support among black voters in the 2020 Democratic presidential election.

The big picture: In an interview with "Axios on HBO," Biden cited a lack of experience in diverse communities as a reason Buttigieg might be struggling.

  • "If you take a look at why he doesn't have support in significant black support, even in his own city, his own city."
  • "I come out of an environment where I have the eighth largest black population in the country, in my state, and that's where I got my political education."
  • "A lot of people have not spent a lot of time in diverse communities. I have, I have. Including in the Latino community."

Earlier in the interview, Biden referenced his history in the African American community:

  • "I've never been uncomfortable or unwelcomed in the African American community. And because they know I care deeply about the issues ... that affect them and systemic racism still exists."
  • "I've been deeply involved in the issues that we used to call and still affect civil rights and human rights."

The big picture: Biden has consistently polled very strongly among African American voters, while Buttigieg has struggled to make inroads.

  • This will become a real problem after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, which feature mostly white voters.

The bottom line: Despite several candidates surging at times in the race — first Sen. Kamala Harris (who dropped out last week) and then Sen. Elizabeth Warren — Biden has led the RealClearPolitics polling average for all but a few weeks of this primary cycle.

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Fauci says White House effort to discredit him is "bizarre"

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci told The Atlantic on Wednesday that efforts by certain White House officials to discredit him are "bizarre" and that it "ultimately hurts the president" to undermine a top health official in the middle of a pandemic.

Driving the news: Fauci's comments come on the heels of a USA Today op-ed by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who claimed that Fauci has been "wrong about everything" related to the coronavirus that the two have interacted on. Fauci told The Atlantic: “I can’t explain Peter Navarro. He’s in a world by himself.”

2 hours ago - Health

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tests positive for coronavirus

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced on Wednesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate, Tulsa World reports.

Why it matters: The 47-year-old Stitt is believed to be the first governor in the U.S. to test positive. He attended President Trump's rally in Tulsa last month, which the county's health department director said likely contributed to a surge in cases in the region.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 13,357,992 — Total deaths: 579,546 — Total recoveries — 7,441,446Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 3,432,307 — Total deaths: 136,493 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Public health: Florida's outbreak is getting worse — Testing is again overwhelmed by massive U.S. caseload.
  4. Business: UnitedHealth posts most profitable quarter in its history — Walmart will require all customers to wear masks.
  5. Politics: White House says it didn't clear Navarro op-ed that attacked Fauci.