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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman

In the aftermath of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's medical school yearbook going public, William Elwood, who worked on the yearbook layout team for Eastern Virginia Medical School in 1984, told CNN that photos for personal pages "were chosen by the individual student."

The big picture: After initially admitting that he was one of the two people in the racist photo that came out last Friday, Northam backtracked and said he was confident the photo was not of him. At a press conference on Saturday, Northam claimed he had spoken with classmates who said that on numerous occasions, photos were incorrectly posted on the wrong yearbook page, and that he believes that's what happened in this situation.

  • Elwood said it's plausible that someone other than Northam submitted the photo, but "the probability is low unless someone was out to get him and was able to get access to all this stuff." Elwood added that such pictures were typically submitted inside sealed envelopes with students' names on them, and that no one else had complained of photo mix-ups. He also said that the yearbook editor reviewed final pages before publishing, but that he was unsure about any faculty oversight.

Nine of Northam's classmates issued a statement on Tuesday saying they do not believe the governor is one of the two people who appear in the photo.

"We are disgusted by the racist and abhorrent photo published in our 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School Yearbook. We fully believe Governor Ralph Northam is neither of the individuals in those repugnant costumes. We attended classes with the Governor. We socialized with him. We knew him very well. Together we took the Hippocratic Oath and vowed to provide care to anyone, no matter their background or the color of their skin. We do not believe the Governor ever engaged in, promoted, tolerated, or condoned racism. That is not who he is now nor who he was then."

Go deeper: Ralph Northam's yearbook scandal grows with new blackface admission

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Health: CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use" — Death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased testing can reduce transmission.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Cities: Bay Area counties to enact stay-at-home order ahead of state mandate
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.