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Photo: Dustin Chambers/Getty Images

At a high-level fundraising event in New York Tuesday night, 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden said he wouldn't want to "demonize" the wealthy and that "no one's standard of living will change" if he's elected, according to a pool report.

Why it matters: Biden's position as an establishment Democrat has put him at odds with what he referred to in his remarks as the "New Left," a wing of the party in which candidates like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have targeted the ultra-wealthy in their fight against income inequality.

What we know: The event was hosted at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side by Eric Mindich, CEO and founder of Eton Park Capital Management. It was Biden's third fundraiser of the day, with his first reportedly requiring a $2,800 contribution level for attendance, per another pool report.

Speaking about income inequality to approximately 100 donors, Biden said that he's found that "rich people are just as patriotic as poor people."

"We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it's all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one's standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change."

Of note: Earlier in his remarks, Biden did reference the need to rebuild what he dubbed the "backbone of America," arguing that ordinary people must be given pathways to success.

"You all are extremely successful people. But with all due respect, Wall Street didn't build America. The wealthy didn't build America."

Go deeper: Joe Biden on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.

56 mins ago - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase heads to Wall Street

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go public today at what could be a valuation north of $100 billion.

Why it matters: This gives crypto a Wall Street seal of legitimacy, after an early existence marred by ties to illicit goods.

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