FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2017 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, watches President Barack Obama, center, at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Photo: Susan Walsh, AP)

The hoped-for Democratic consolidation around presumptive nominee Joe Biden got a booster shot this week. 

In the span of three days, Biden locked up the endorsements of three of the biggest names in Democratic politics who had yet to weigh in, including two of his former rivals. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced first, saying in a joint livestream Monday with Biden that he was throwing his support behind the former vice president. Later that day, Sanders in an interview said it was “irresponsible” to not support Biden. 

“I believe that it’s irresponsible for anybody to say, ‘Well, I disagree with Joe Biden – I disagree with Joe Biden! – and therefore I’m not going to be involved,’ ” Sanders said.

Two days later, Sen. Elizabeth Warren ended her weeks-long silence by formally throwing her support behind Biden, saying he knows that “a government run with integrity, competence and heart will save lives and save livelihoods.” 

But the biggest news, albeit somewhat obvious, was President Barack Obama’s announcement on Tuesday. Biden of course was Obama’s vice president, but the 44th president had been clear throughout the primary that he was not going to pick sides. With the last opponent, Sanders, exiting the race last week, Obama was free to speak out.

“Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made, and he became a close friend,” the president said in a video statement. “And I believe Joe has all the qualities we need in a president right now.”

WIth the traditional idea of campaign is wildly different now with coronavirus, Biden still has business to attend to, including deciding who will be his running mate. One thing is sure: Biden has said he will choose a woman.

This week at the White House

Meanwhile, this week brought the 1-month mark of President Donald Trump announcing guidelines to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Those guidelines, initially planned for 15 days, were later extended until April 30.

But there is some restlessness now. Trump himself has made it no secret he would like reopen the country soon, an issue again brought to the forefront Thursday when it was announced another 5.2 million people filed for unemployment.

Trump later Thursday announced new guidelines “aimed at easing social distancing restrictions and reopening parts of the country as the U.S. grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.”

USA TODAY White House correspondents David Jackson and Courtney Subramanian described them this way:

States will have to meet a certain set of “medical metrics” before they can feel safe reopening, according to the guidelines provided by senior administration officials. The officials did not provide details on metrics, but stressed that they are “recommendations” and provide governors and local leaders with flexibility.

This week also saw protests in several states, where residents angry over a variety of coronavirus-related guidelines urged their elected leaders to rescind some of the restrictions for the sake of the economy.

“My daughter is out of work, my husband’s work has slowed down and I’m out of work because of this,” said Deborah Palmer, who owns a small business in Utah. “I hope our representatives and our governing officials get to see that there is a great number of us who do not support the government mandate and restrictions taking away our rights.”

The governors for their part seemed undeterred. 

“We do have some folks up in here in Kentucky today — and everybody should be able to express their opinion — that believe we should reopen Kentucky immediately, right now,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said. “Folks, that would kill people. That would absolutely kill people.”

As always, thanks for reading. And you know what I’m going to say: Wash your hands. – Annah Aschbrenner

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