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April 28, 2020: Bernie Bumped From Ballot
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TODAY'S HEADLINES:

Bernie Sanders will not appear on the ballot in the New York primary thanks to a vote by the state’s board of elections.

Meanwhile, two more women have come forward to corroborate Tara Reade’s account of sexual assault at the hands of Joe Biden. The evidence is mounting, and the Biden campaign is once again mostly silent.

And lastly, scientists at Oxford university claim to have made significant progress on a coronavirus vaccine. If it works, and that’s a big if, it could be ready for widespread use as early as September.

THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Bernie Sanders will not appear on the ballot in the major New York State primary election in June, if Monday’s vote by the board of elections stands.

The Sanders campaign, even in its dormant state, is not pleased. Here’s Senior advisor Jeff Weaver, who said in a statement quote:

"No one asked New York to cancel the election. The DNC didn't request it. The Biden campaign didn't request it. And our campaign communicated that we wanted to remain on the ballot."

Endquote.

Obviously, Bernie has already suspended his campaign and endorsed Biden, so the primary is more of a formality.

But despite that, the Sanders campaign wanted to remain on the ballot for a couple of reasons: first, any delegates Sanders picked up could help him influence events at what will surely be an interesting Democratic Convention.

Second, a Sanders ballot could lend support to progressive candidates downballot like Lindsey Boylan, who’s running to unseat Jerry Nadler in New York’s 10th Congressional district.

With this in mind, it’s pretty clear what the New York State Democratic Party wants: to shut out and alienate Sanders’ wing of the party from their state politics as much as possible, and make sure that another AOC never happens on their watch.

Biden Allegations Mount

Two more women have come forward to corroborate Tara Reade’s account of sexual harassment while working for Joe Biden in the early 1990s.

Over the weekend, Reade’s story gained credibility after reporters discovered audio of her mother referring to the incident during a call-in to Larry King’s show on CNN. But now, two more sources tell Business Insider that Reade told them consistent information about the assault around the time that it happened.

The two new sources are Lynda LaCasse, Reade’s neighbor in the mid 90s, who described herself as a Biden supporter to Business Insider, and Lorraine Sanchez, who worked with Reade in a California State Senator’s office in the mid 90s.

LaCasse said that Reade had described the assault in detail to her in 1995 or 1996, just 2 or 3 years after the alleged assault. LaCasse said quote: "This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it.” Endquote.

Sanchez, Reade’s coworker, said she remembers Reade saying that her former boss had sexually harassed her, and that she had been fired for raising those concerns.

LaCasse’s quotes, in particular, corroborate specific details of the assault Reade claimed she suffered at Biden’s hands in a Senate hallway in 1993.

The Biden campaign refused to speak to Business Insider on the record, pointing them instead to an earlier denial -- but it’s obvious that these allegations are not going away, and that Biden is massively vulnerable, not to mention disgraceful, as a candidate because of them.

There’s still a long time until November. We’ll see if the Democratic party has the courage to act.

Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

A team of scientists at Oxford University say they may have a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, and it could be ready as early as September.

While that may sound like fantastic news, it comes with a lot of caveats. Chief among them is the fact that we don’t know for sure whether or not if it works.

That said, there are promising signs. The scientists’ vaccine is far ahead of other efforts in part because the team was working on similar projects dealing with different coronaviruses last year.

That means it’s already almost ready for human trials, which could start at the end of next month. With emergency approval from Federal regulators around the world, the first few million units could be ready by September.

Scientists at the National Institute of Health’s lab in Montana have already tried the vaccine on monkeys, and after more than 28 days, all six subjects were still healthy.

But that doesn’t mean it’s a cure-all: researchers expect we’ll need several different vaccines to ensure that we find the most effective one for the lowest cost. Still, if the Oxford vaccine pans out, September is a whole lot quicker than the year to 18 months we were hearing before.

AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

The IRS called back thousands of employees to work this week, but neglected to call in the proper protective equipment for them. Instead, thousands of federal employees are being asked to bring their own face coverings and gloves to perform quote “mission critical functions.”

World Military spending once again surpassed $1.9 trillion. And guess who led the pack by so large of a margin it’s not even funny? That’s right baby, it’s us. Experts think this is the peak, though: it’s the largest spending has been since the 2008 financial crisis, and with another recession around the corner, we may be able to afford, say, one or two fewer guns?

Republican governors are still pushing ahead to reopen businesses in their states. Texas will allow stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls to reopen on Friday in limited capacity, and many other states have stay at home orders that will expire on Thursday.

Argentina, meanwhile, is taking no chances, announcing the toughest travel ban in North or South America. The country will ban all domestic flights as well as any flights to or from the country until September 1.

That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam later today.

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn