The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden

The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden
© Greg Nash

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill's 12:30 Report: Warren endorses Biden | WHO says it regrets Trump move to halt funding | Global coronavirus cases top 2 million | Retail sales plunge | Stocks dip | Dem leaders try to box out McConnell in relief talks | Treasury orders Trump's name on stimulus checks | DC bar lowers cocktails in buckets to customers



Warren jumped on the Joe train:

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass.) officially endorsed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick Bloomberg rolls out M ad buy to boost Biden in Florida MORE's presidential campaign this morning.

Warren wrote in an email to supporters: "Joe Biden has spent nearly his entire life in public service. He knows that a government run with integrity, competence, and heart will save lives and save livelihoods. And we can't afford to let Donald Trump continue to endanger the lives and livelihoods of every American."

Screenshot of her endorsement email to supporters:

Why her endorsement is important: Warren became the last of the major former Democratic presidential competitors to back Biden.

Other former Democratic candidates who have not endorsed Biden: "Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBarr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report Bottom line Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE, John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Cook Political Report shifts Colorado Senate race toward Democrat Willie Nelson playing at virtual fundraiser for Hickenlooper MORE, Steve BullockSteve BullockCourt removes Pendley from role as public lands chief On The Trail: Making sense of this week's polling tsunami McConnell locks down key GOP votes in Supreme Court fight MORE, Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioOVERNIGHT ENERGY: California seeks to sell only electric cars by 2035 | EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to 'anarchist' cities | House energy package sparks criticism from left and right EPA threatens to close New York City office after Trump threats to 'anarchist' cities New Year's Eve in Times Square to be largely virtual amid pandemic MORE, Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson discusses speaking at People's Party Convention Fewer people watched opening night of Democratic convention compared to 2016 Marianne Williamson: Democratic convention 'like binge watching a Marriott commercial' MORE." (Via NBC's Sahil Kapur


It's Wednesday. I'm Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what's coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to -- and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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WHO is to blame?:

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick MORE announced yesterday that he is halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Why: Trump said "to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus."

Trump's allegations: "The WHO's attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures. The reality is that the WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion," Trump said. He also accused the WHO of treating the U.S. unfairly, pointing to the contributions from the U.S. versus China.

How long the review will take: Between 60 and 90 days



WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news briefing this morning: "We regret the decision of the President of the United States to order a halt in funding to the World Health Organization ... The United States of America has been a longstanding and generous friend to WHO and we hope it will continue to be so."



The Chamber's executive vice president Myron Brilliant said in a statement: "The Chamber supports a reformed but functional World Health Organization, and U.S. leadership and involvement are essential to ensuring its transparency and accountability going forward ... However, cutting the WHO's funding during the COVID-19 pandemic is not in U.S. interests given the organization's critical role assisting other countries -- particularly in the developing world -- in their response."



The AMA urged President Trump to reconsider, calling the move a "dangerous step in the wrong direction."

The AMA said in a statemen: "Fighting a global pandemic requires international cooperation and reliance on science and data. Cutting funding to the WHO – rather than focusing on solutions – is a dangerous move at a precarious moment for the world."



Retail sales dropped 8.7 percent in March, the biggest decline on record.



Markets dipped this morning following a record retail sale drop in March and Trump's announcement to halt the WHO's funding.

The numbers: "The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 500 points, or 2.1 percent, while the S&P 500 was down 62 points, or 2.2 percent." 



Global cases surpass 2 million this morning:

More than two million people in the world have tested positive for COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University:


An 11-year-old byline in The New York Times:

For The New York Times, 11-year-old Henry Dodd explains what it's like to have virtual school.

"Kids are getting more bored by the day. We wish we could go back to school to see our friends. But some of us are also really scared about getting the coronavirus, and we don't want our friends and family to get it either. That's what kids across the country told The New York Times (where my dad works) when they were asked about learning from home during the coronavirus outbreak." 

The full piece -- with illustrations from children:



You block Mitch while we go negotiate.

OK, break!:

Via The Hill's Alexander Bolton, "Congressional Democratic leaders are trying to box out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' House to vote on resolution affirming peaceful transition of power Republican lawyers brush off Trump's election comments MORE (R-Ky.) by negotiating a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Republicans lawmakers rebuke Trump on election On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Vulnerable Democrats tell Pelosi COVID-19 compromise 'essential' MORE and President Trump to provide $251 billion in new funding for small businesses."

The calculation by Dem leaders: "Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' 3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Cruz blocks amended resolution honoring Ginsburg over language about her dying wish MORE (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocratic senator to party: 'A little message discipline wouldn't kill us' Overnight Health Care: New wave of COVID-19 cases builds in US | Florida to lift all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars | Trump stirs questions with 0 drug coupon plan Overnight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds MORE (D-Calif.) calculate that Trump will be eager for a deal when funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a popular small-business lending program, is projected to expire Thursday, when another wave of unemployment claims become public." 

What to expect:


They appear to be getting closer. What we know:



Via The Hill's Niv Elis:


Tidbit -- notice if your stimulus check says 'President Donald J. Trump' printed on it: 

Via The Washington Post's Lisa Rein, "The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump's name printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said."

Is this routine?: "It will be the first time a president's name appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one." 

Keep in mind: "Treasury officials disputed that the checks would be delayed." 



The view in London:



The House and Senate are in. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump hosted a phone call with "banking, financial services, food and beverage, hospitality and retail industry groups."

11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence participated in a phone call with the College Football Playoff Management Committee.

Noon: President Trump hosted a phone call with "health care, tech, telecommunications and transportation industry groups."

2 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a call with "agriculture, construction/labor/workforce, defense, energy, and manufacturing industry groups and thought leaders."

3 p.m. EDT: President Trump hosts a call with sports industry groups.

3 p.m. EDT: Vice President Pence leads a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.



11 a.m. EDT: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) gave an update on his state's outbreak. Livestream:

1 p.m. EDT: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is holding a press briefing on the coronavirus outbreak. Livestream

5 p.m. EDT: The White House Coronavirus Task Force holds a press briefing. Livestream:



Today is National Spiral Ham Day.


Ummm, *hard click*:

Via Eater Washington, D.C., "lowering cocktails in buckets is just one way D.C. bars are getting creative right now."

Because I wouldn't dangle that carrot without following through: Here's a video of cocktails being lowered in a bucket:


And to give you an afternoon distraction, here are two very confused golden retrievers: