Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told CNN that he believes human-caused climate change is just a result of changes in weather, stating: "You know, I think it's weather patterns. ... It rained yesterday, it's a nice pretty day today. So the climate does change in short increments and in long increments."

Why it matters: Climate change — which occurs over decades and influences extreme weather patterns — has tremendous effects on the agriculture industry, which Perdue oversees in his current role. Over the past year alone, record rainfall throughout the central U.S. has saturated farmers' fields to the point of no return, leaving large portions of land useless and resulting in stunted harvests. Such extreme weather events are symptomatic of climate change, studies show.

  • A Department of Agriculture that does not acknowledge the facts on human-caused global warming would be less-equipped to help farmers adapt to their increasingly challenging circumstances.
  • It was also revealed this week that the USDA has not been publicizing its own studies on the effects of climate change, despite being conducted by the nonpartisan Agricultural Research Service.

Of note: Vice President Mike Pence is also catching flack for his refusal to answer if climate change is a direct threat to the U.S., something a Trump administration report declared last year.

  • On CNN Sunday, Pence argued that the science on climate change is debatable, despite agencies in his own administration, such as NASA, conclusively showing otherwise.

Between the lines: Perdue's description of climate change hews closely to the views of his boss. "Is there climate change? Yeah. Will it go back like this, I mean will it change back? Probably," Trump said in an interview with "Axios on HBO" last year, making an ocean wave motion with his hand.

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Biden enters final stretch with huge cash advantage over Trump

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden had $177.3 million in the bank at the end of September, per the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

Why it matters: President Trump's re-election campaign reported having $63.1 million in the bank at the end of last month.

Of note: Trump was well ahead of Biden earlier in the year.

Go deeper: The green tsunami

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting — McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election — Republican senators defend Fauci as Trump escalates attacks.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — University of Michigan students ordered to shelter-in-place.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Court allows North Carolina mail-in ballots deadline extension

An absentee ballot election worker stuffs ballot applications at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections office in Charlotte, North Carolina, in September. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

North Carolina can accept absentee ballots that are postmarked Nov. 3 on Election Day until Nov. 12, a federal appeals court decided Tuesday in a 12-3 majority ruling.

Why it matters: The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling against state and national Republican leaders settles a lawsuit brought by a group representing retirees, and it could see scores of additional votes counted in the key battleground state.