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As the inevitable primary battles heat up, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took the opportunity on Friday to slam former Vice President Joe Biden's "middle ground" climate change plan that has been crafted with the help of a former aide to President Obama.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Why it matters: Climate change has become one of the most pressing issues as Democratic presidential candidates claw their way to the party's 2020 nomination.

What they're saying: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also berated Biden for his moderate proposal tweeting, calling it "a dealbreaker. There is no “middle ground” w/ climate denial & delay. Blaming 'blue collar' Americans as the main opponents to bold climate policy is gas lobbyist 101. We’re not going to solve the climate crisis w/ this lack of leadership. Our kids’ lives are at stake." Ocasio-Cortez introduced the progressive Green New Deal that other presidential candidates have come out in support of.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper:

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Updated 26 mins ago - Health

Texas to end all coronavirus restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the White House in December 2020. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Texas will end its coronavirus restrictions next week with an upcoming executive order, Gov. Greg Abbot (R) announced Tuesday during a press conference in Lubbock.

Why it matters: After Abbott signs the new order, which rescinds previous orders, all businesses can open to 100% capacity and the statewide mask mandate will be over, though large parts of the state will remain under mask local ordinances.

Senate confirms Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo as commerce secretary

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.