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Elena Moore

Elena Moore is an editorial assistant for NPR's Washington Desk working as the researcher for the 2020 campaign. She previously worked at NBC News and is also a proud former Washington Desk intern. Moore is a graduate from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y.

President Trump and close to a dozen key members of his circle, including senior White House and campaign staff and Republican senators, have announced positive coronavirus test results in the days before and after Trump tested positive.

On the first day of the Republican convention in Charlotte, N.C., more than five months after the coronavirus began spreading across the country, President Trump characterized the White House's response as "the exact right thing."

But, following a blueprint he has used for months, he also shifted responsibility for the pandemic response to the states. He accused many governors of having been "ill-prepared" for the pandemic, while praising others for doing a "fine job."

An extraordinarily high number of ballots — more than 550,000 — have been rejected in this year's presidential primaries, according to a new analysis by NPR.

That's far more than the 318,728 ballots rejected in the 2016 general election and has raised alarms about what might happen in November when tens of millions of more voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail, many for the first time.

Updated Aug. 17 at 12:31 p.m. ET

The next phase of the presidential election started Monday with the launch of the Democratic National Convention. While the quadrennial event usually attracts tens of thousands of people to the host city, which this year is Milwaukee, Wis., the coronavirus has erased the possibility of a traditional series of events.

Rep. Ilhan Omar has won her primary, informally securing a hold on Minnesota's historically Democratic-run 5th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

After a high-profile first term in Congress, the freshman representative faced several primary challengers, the most prominent being Antone Melton-Meaux, a first-time political candidate who runs a mediation company.

Kansas Rep. Roger Marshall has defeated former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the Republican Senate primary, according to The Associated Press, calming Republicans' worst fears about putting a seat in a deep red state in play this fall with the Senate majority contested.

Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff is blasting a now-deleted attack ad from his incumbent Republican rival, Sen. David Perdue, that appears to engage in anti-Semitic tropes.

"For my opponent to stoop to this kind of incredibly divisive, inappropriate, offensive tactic is really disturbing," Ossoff, who is Jewish, said Tuesday at a virtual news conference, "and it's unbecoming of a sitting U.S. senator."

The University of Notre Dame will no longer host the first presidential debate on September 29, citing "constraints" brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The necessary health precautions would have greatly diminished the educational value of hosting the debate on our campus," University President Reverend John I. Jenkins announced Monday.

Challenger Jamaal Bowman has defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York's 16th Congressional District, The Associated Press projects.

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday

Jeff Sessions has lost a bid to regain his old Alabama U.S. Senate after falling from grace as President Trump's attorney general.

Sessions had been hoping for redemption after enduring months of relentless ridicule from Trump that eventually led to his resignation as the country's top lawyer.

Mail-in voting, which tens of millions of Americans are expected to use this November, is fraught with potential problems. Hundreds of thousands of ballots go uncounted each year because people make mistakes, such as forgetting to sign the form or sending it in too late.

Former Vice President Joe Biden took direct aim at President Trump on Tuesday, saying that Trump, who once called himself a "wartime president" taking on the coronavirus pandemic, seems to have now "surrendered."

"Remember when he exhorted the nation to sacrifice together in the face of this ... 'invisible enemy'? What happened? Now it's almost July, and it seems like our wartime president has surrendered," Biden said in prepared remarks.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

The Democratic Party's more establishment wing is victorious in a high-profile Kentucky Senate primary despite a late surge from a rising progressive lawmaker.

Retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath has beaten state Rep. Charles Booker in the state's Democratic U.S. Senate contest, The Associated Press projects.

The call came Tuesday, a week after the primary, as absentee ballots were counted.

McGrath will now face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who easily won the Republican primary.

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams says the state's Tuesday primary performance was "an unmitigated disaster," pinning the blame on Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Polling locations all around Georgia experienced delays and long lines Tuesday due to a mix of logistical problems, technical issues with the state's new voting machines and COVID-19-related restrictions resulting in fewer available voting sites.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

Jon Ossoff has won Georgia's Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, The Associated Press projects.

Votes continued to be counted Wednesday across Georgia following its Tuesday primary, which was plagued with long lines and voting machine issues.

Former Vice President Joe Biden again denied the sexual assault allegation made against him by former Senate staffer Tara Reade in an interview on MSNBC Thursday night, but added that voters who stand by Reade should not support him.

"If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn't vote for me," Biden said when asked what message he would give to female voters who accept Reade's allegation as true, but were planning on supporting him.

"I wouldn't vote for me if I believed Tara Reade," Biden added.

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally began the process of selecting a running mate on Thursday morning, releasing the names of former and current Democratic officials who will lead his search for a vice presidential candidate, who Biden has said will be a woman.

Former Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Cynthia C. Hogan, a top aide to Biden in the Senate and White House, will lead the search over the coming months.

Testing is the key that will unlock normalization for millions of Americans.

It's the doorway between the disaster response mode of the pandemic and confidence about returning to work, school and life. And it's also still apparently weeks or more away from scaling to a level that will make a big difference for most people in most places.

Precisely how far away isn't clear, although President Trump and a pageant of guests attempted on Monday to sell the idea that victory is just around the corner.

A few weeks ago, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff held his first digital organizing event over the video conferencing service Zoom, geared at teaching volunteers how to conduct phone banks from home.

"There is nothing more effective than going door to door and having those face-to-face conversations," Ossoff told over 70 attendees. Since moving his primary campaign online over a month ago, the campaign held several virtual town halls and events with local political organizations.

A month ago, President Trump went on Fox and downplayed the potential lethality of the novel coronavirus and compared it to the seasonal flu.

Worldwide total confirmed cases: 2,063,161

Total deaths: 136,938

U.S. total confirmed cases: 638,111

Confirmed U.S. deaths: 30,844

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, as of 11:35 p.m. ET Wednesday

President Trump is promising to deliver on Thursday guidelines to "reopen" America. He said some states would open even before May 1. That's two weeks away.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. ET

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren formally backed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Wednesday, over a month after she ended her own campaign, extending a string of big endorsements as party leaders rally around the presumptive Democratic nominee.

"In this moment of crisis, it's more important than ever that the next president restores Americans' faith in good, effective government — and I've seen Joe Biden help our nation rebuild," Warren said in a tweet.

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

After intense political back and forth, Wisconsin is holding its presidential primaries and elections for many state and local offices on Tuesday.

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he finds it "hard to envision" an in-person Democratic National Convention taking place in July as planned.

"The fact is, it may have to be different," the leading Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday night.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place from July 13-16 in Milwaukee. The Republican National Convention is planned for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, N.C., and neither party has announced alternative plans.

Jaylan Scott was in the middle of planning an upcoming event for the Young Democrats of Georgia when he found out his state's primary was postponed.

"It was pretty much a shocker for me," the Georgia State University sophomore said. "It was a shocker for everybody."

Scott first voted in the 2018 midterm elections but has yet to participate in a presidential election. He's a supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but says he'll vote for former Vice President Joe Biden if he is the Democratic nominee.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 11th Democratic presidential debate, on Sunday, is set to look and sound quite different from the previous 10.

To prevent further transmission of the virus, the Democratic National Committee announced Thursday it will hold the debate in Washington, D.C., with no live audience, instead of its original planned location of Arizona, one of four states voting on Tuesday.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Former Vice President Joe Biden won the most delegates in Tuesday night's voting, widening his lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Updated at 9:40 p.m.

Just ahead of the single most important day of the Democratic primary, former Vice President Joe Biden picked up the endorsements of two former rivals.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who ended his own White House bid Sunday night, appeared with Biden at a barbecue restaurant in Dallas Monday evening.

After a flawed Iowa caucus process, the Senate acquittal of President Trump and a dramatic State of the Union address — all in the past five days — Friday night brings the eighth Democratic presidential debate.

Writer, entrepreneur and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson has ended her presidential campaign, months after garnering viral attention in early debates, earning curiosity but little support from Democratic voters.

"The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them," Williamson wrote in a letter to supporters. "As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign."

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