Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's 2020 campaign released a plan Monday backing statehood for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

Why it matters: Other candidates "have tip-toed around the issue of Puerto Rican statehood, saying they want Puerto Ricans to decide whether or not the U.S. territory becomes the country’s 51st state," the Miami Herald writes.

Details: Bloomberg's plan would fully fund Medicaid and other social safety net programs in Puerto Rico, as well as implement federal tax credits and an audit on the island's debt and restructuring plans.

Where it stands: The former New York Mayor is the third 2020 contender to support the island's statehood, according to the Washington Post.

  • Former tech executive Andrew Yang and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney are the other two, while Joe Biden's position is unclear.

Between the lines: The move is consistent with Bloomberg's non-traditional campaign, which has focused on delegate-rich states and territories, rather than first-in-the-nation contests like Iowa and New Hampshire. Puerto Rico has 51 delegates up for grabs.

What he's saying:

“For decades, Puerto Ricans and their interests have been ignored by Washington. And there’s a simple reason why: They don’t have a vote in Congress. There’s a clear solution to this challenge that a majority of Puerto Ricans support. Most presidential candidates for president have been too afraid to back it. Not me. I’ll state it clearly: I support statehood for Puerto Rico. And as president, I will work to pass a bill making it a reality, subject to approval by the people of Puerto Rico — who will make the ultimate decision.”
— Mike Bloomberg in a press release

Go deeper: Michael Bloomberg on the issues, in under 500 words

Go deeper

239 scientists call on WHO to recognize coronavirus as airborne

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Photo: APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries are calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The World Health Organization has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protesters toss Columbus statue into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Piazza in Little Italy on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.