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Scott Detrow

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

President Biden and Vice President Harris acknowledged a grim milestone Monday: the deaths of more than 500,000 Americans from COVID-19.

Biden and Harris, along with first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, emerged from the White House at sundown. They stood at the foot of the South Portico, covered in 500 candles honoring the dead, and listened to a Marine Corps band play "Amazing Grace" as they held a moment of silence.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

In an effort to slow the nation's contribution to climate change, President Biden has signed an executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.

The much-anticipated move is one of several executive actions the president took on Wednesday to address the worsening climate crisis and the broader decline of the natural world, but it won't come without pushback.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

President Biden on Monday repealed a controversial Trump-era ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. military.

Biden signed an executive order on the issue as he met in the Oval Office with new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Vice President Harris.

Speaking briefly to reporters, Biden said the order will allow all "qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform."

President-elect Joe Biden teared up twice Tuesday afternoon as he said goodbye to his adopted home state of Delaware and prepared to fly to Washington, D.C., to assume the presidency.

Paraphrasing, as he often does, Irish literature, Biden paused for several moments as he told a small, socially distanced crowd at a National Guard center named after his son Beau that "when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart."

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will step down from her California Senate seat Monday before taking up a more high-profile position in the chamber two days later, transition officials have announced.

For more than a year and a half, President-elect Joe Biden campaigned promising to undo several Trump administration policies on Day 1 of his presidency, and now his team is filling in the details of that and more as he prepares to take office.

Biden's incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, on Saturday laid out in a memo the executive orders the new president will issue on Jan. 20 and in the early days of the new administration.

On Wednesday, Kamala Harris will become the first woman, and the first woman of color, to serve as vice president of the United States.

Twelve years ago, hundreds of thousands of people filled the National Mall to watch Barack Obama make history as the nation's first Black president.

But when Harris takes the oath, the mall will very likely be nearly empty.

"We've reached a point where foreign policy is domestic policy, and domestic policy is foreign policy," incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NPR over Zoom on Tuesday. "And the work that we do abroad fundamentally has to connect to making the lives of working people better, safer, fairer."

Updated at 7:45 a.m. ET

The fate of the Biden administration's ambitious climate goals — plans that, if fully implemented, would overhaul the United States' energy economy in the span of just 15 years — will largely rest in the hands of two longtime government officials who have obsessed on the topic for decades.

President-elect Joe Biden won the presidency in large part because he promised to be the anti-Trump on policy, temperament, tone and just about everything else. But two men who helped run the Obama White House are urging him to follow President Trump's example in a specific way: by unapologetically leaning on executive actions to implement key policies.

Updated at 1:54 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, narrowly emerging victorious from a contentious White House campaign that stretched days past election night, as vote tallies in several swing states were slowed by an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots.

Updated at 4 a.m. ET

The 2020 presidential election remained up in the air early Wednesday after tight races, strong turnout and record amounts of mail-in voting left millions of legitimate votes still to be counted, and races in six key states too close to call.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden urged patience until "every vote is counted," but President Trump railed against the extra time required to count the ballots, falsely accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election from him.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Donald Trump and Joe Biden are getting out their final messages to voters.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Democrats all across the country are anxious.

The fact that former Vice President Joe Biden consistently leads President Trump by double digits in national polls lately doesn't help. Neither does Biden's unprecedented advertising advantage over the incumbent.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

Joe Biden, who's long critiqued President Trump as a voice of division and a uniquely dangerous threat to American values, appears to be sketching out a final, unifying message to voters with four weeks left in the 2020 presidential campaign.

Speaking Tuesday afternoon overlooking the battlefield where Union soldiers tilted the tide of the Civil War in Gettysburg, Pa., the Democratic nominee tried to frame his call for unity within the arc of American history.

Updated at 3:23 p.m. ET

After two negative coronavirus tests this morning, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden proceeded with a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Mich. Biden's wife, Jill Biden, also tested negative today.

Some of the most memorable moments of Kamala Harris' political career have come in the Senate committee hearing rooms.

The list of witnesses and nominees the California senator has flustered or put on the defensive is long, and it includes many top conservatives whom progressives villainize: Attorney General William Barr, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former White House chief of staff John Kelly and, perhaps atop that list, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Urging his progressive supporters to back former Vice President Joe Biden in November, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders framed the presidential election as an existential — maybe even apocalyptic — moment for the United States.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has picked Sen. Kamala Harris of California as his running mate.

The selection will make Harris the third woman and first Black and first Asian American candidate to be nominated for vice president by a major political party.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

Democrats met remotely Monday afternoon to approve a lengthy policy platform that seeks to balance the interests of the Democratic Party's more moderate and liberal factions.

For former Vice President Joe Biden, foreign policy isn't primarily about position papers, global summits or treaties. It's about personal connections, forged over long and repeated face-to-face meetings.

Listen to Biden talk about foreign policy on the campaign trail and you hear him come back to the same theme, over and over. "I've met every major world leader in the last 35 years — not because I'm important, but because of the nature of my job," he told a crowd in Sparks, Nev., back in January, before in-person campaigning was halted.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wants the United States to commit $775 billion to expand access for and lower the cost of caregiving.

The proposal, which Biden outlined in a speech Tuesday afternoon, would emphasize tax credits and state funding subsidies to make child care more affordable and accessible, and make prekindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds universal.

A joint effort by former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to unify Democrats around Biden's candidacy has produced a 110-page policy wish list to recommend to the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

A presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15 will no longer be held at the University of Michigan.

University President Mark Schlissel sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates explaining that coronavirus concerns made the logistics too difficult for the school to pull off.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


More than a month before former Vice President Joe Biden's stated deadline for naming his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris is seen as the consensus front-runner to become Democrats' vice presidential nominee.

Speculation about running mates can be wrong, of course. Ultimately, the choice is Biden's and Biden's alone — just as it was Barack Obama's call to tap Biden in 2008.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden has mostly responded to the aftermath of George Floyd's death by contrasting his governing and leadership style with President Trump's. But the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has also laced his speeches, interviews and campaign statements with policy specifics.

Updated at 11:46 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden condemned both police violence and President Trump's increasingly confrontational response to widespread unrest in a Tuesday morning speech delivered at Philadelphia City Hall.

Last month, President Trump said something a lot of sports fans can relate to.

"You get tired of looking at nine-year-old baseball games, and playoff games that took place 12 years ago," he said.

With the NBA and NHL seasons suspended, and Major League Baseball hitting pause mid-spring training, fans initially flocked to the classic games that ESPN and other sports networks resorted to re-airing to fill their schedules amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 5:59 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains graphic descriptions of an alleged sexual assault.

More than a month after being publicly accused of sexual assault by a former Senate staffer in the 1990s, former Vice President Joe Biden says the allegations "aren't true. This never happened."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his presidential campaign Wednesday.

Though the 78-year-old did not emerge as the Democratic nominee in either of his two presidential bids, his campaigns have reshaped the party's politics and policy in significant ways. Here's a look back at several key moments from the past five years:

1. Sanders Announces His 1st Presidential Bid

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