Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Health provider Kaiser Permanente paid Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh more than $100,000 from 2015 to 2018 for 20,000 copies of her children's books, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: The purchase came at a time when Kaiser was looking to strike a deal to become the health care provider for the city's employees, a contract that it ultimately won. Pugh was on the city's spending board when it awarded Kaiser the $48 million deal in 2017. The Sun reported later on Monday that Pugh will be taking a leave of absence.

The big picture: The findings come after the Sun reported another conflict of interest between Pugh and the University of Maryland Medical System, which purchased her books while she served on the board. The series of findings have caused a political uproar and calls for reform.

Pugh previously referred to questions about her as a "witch hunt," but apologized for the deals at a press conference last week, according to the Sun.

"In hindsight, this arrangement with the University of Maryland Medical System was a regrettable mistake. I am deeply sorry for any lack of confidence or disappointment that this initiative may have caused among Baltimore city residents, friends and colleagues."

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Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

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Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.