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Enlarge this image When his wife and young daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972, Biden struggled to acknowledge his grief publicly. "He didn't want to become a symbol of human vulnerability. But it was thrust upon him and he had to decide whether to embrace it," Evan Osnos says. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images As a young man, Joe Biden was fixated on a singular goal: "On his first date with his future wife, he told her mother that he wanted to grow up to be president," New Yorker writer Evan Osnos says. Osnos, who writes about the Democratic presidential candidate in his new book, Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, notes that the 2020 election represents Biden's third bid for the presidency. In 1987, during Biden's first run, "he was regarded as a bit of an arrogant guy, a bit of a blowhard in a town, after all, that is known for blowhards," Osnos says. That campaign ended abruptly after Biden was accused of plagiarizing a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock. "The joke became that Joe Biden was not an authentic person," Osnos says. "It took him a while to acknowledge that it was, as he later put it, his own arrogance that cost him that race." Within a few months of dropping out of the 1987 primary, Biden nearly died from two brain aneurysms. He was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors called in a priest to deliver last rites. Biden survived brain surgery but spent months in recovery. Osnos points to a connection between Biden's failed 1987 presidential bid and his prognosis following the aneurysms: "Had he been on the campaign trail, he might not have survived, because he would not have gone to see a doctor about the symptoms," Osnos says. Thirty-three years later, Osnos sees a candidate who has come to terms with the tragedies and mistakes that have shaped his life. "If you talk to the 77-year-old Joe Biden now, he's a man who is at peace," Osnos says. "He's at peace from a series of hard-won scars. And it's a very different mindset than he had back then." Interview Highlights Enlarge this image Simon & Schuster On writing about Biden in a fair way From the very beginning, actually, Joe Biden was, I think, treated with some skepticism by a lot of the press because they looked at his some of his mistakes on the trail. They would say he seems out of touch. He may not be aware of what it is that voters are really looking for in 2020. He would ... bungle the address for his fundraising text message campaign, things like that. And actually, I think that from a reporter's perspective, the challenge was that our responsibility has to be to hold Joe Biden and the other Democratic candidates to the same level of scrutiny that we have subjected Donald Trump to over the last three and a half years. Because if we're not doing that, we're not going to generate trust from our readers and from voters and we're not really doing the job. But it's hard, because the reality is that there is one candidate who is overtly hostile to the press — that's the president. And then you have another candidate who is in many ways a more conventional candidate and is doing things like releasing his tax returns and making his personal history more available. But it is challenging because you can't look like you're going soft on one guy and hard on the other. On how Biden was defined by the tragic death of his wife Neilia and [...]
Tue, Oct 27, 2020
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
Enlarge this image E. Jean Carroll (left), who has accused President Trump of raping her in the 1990s, leaves federal court in New York City after a hearing last week in her defamation lawsuit. John Minchillo/AP John Minchillo/AP A federal judge has denied the Justice Department's attempt to intervene on President Trump's behalf in a defamation lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges he sexually assaulted her in the mid-1990s. In her memoir published last year, writer E. Jean Carroll accused the president of raping her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store more than two decades ago. Trump denied the allegations and accused her of lying to sell books. Carroll then sued Trump last year in state court in New York for defamation, contending he harmed her reputation with his counterclaims. That lawsuit proceeded normally until last month when the Justice Department took the unusual step of intervening in the case. It argued that Trump was acting within the scope of his official duties as president when he denied Carroll's allegations. The Justice Department argued that the federal government therefore should step in as the defendant in the case. Judge rejects government position In his 61-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected that request. "The president of the United States is not an 'employee of the government' within the meaning of the relevant statutes," Kaplan wrote. "Even if he were such an 'employee,' President Trump's allegedly defamatory statements concerning Ms. Carroll would not have been within the scope of his employment." Kaplan wrote that Trump's comments concerned an alleged sexual assault that predates his time in office, and the allegations against him "have no relationship to the official business of the United States." "To conclude otherwise would require the court to adopt a view that virtually everything the president does is within the public interest by virtue of his office," Kaplan wrote. "The government has provided no support for that theory, and the court rejects it as too expansive." There was no immediate reaction from the White House, Carroll or the Justice Department. The legal context If the judge had allowed the U.S. to replace Trump as the defendant in the lawsuit, legal experts said it likely would have spelled the end of the case because the federal government can't be sued for defamation. Under the law, if a U.S. Postal Service worker causes a car accident while delivering the mail and is sued, the federal government can intervene. If the government certified that the postal worker was performing his or her official duties when the accident happened, then the federal government can step in and become the defendant in the lawsuit. Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department argued that the same principle applied in the Carroll case. Barr had said he considered it "standard practice" that a federal employee being sued in this way would alert the Justice Department so that it could enter the matter, which the attorney general said was again appropriate in this case. The attorney general's critics, including House Democrats and some former Justice Department employees, have called him too sympathetic to Trump and too eager to deploy the department in ways that help the president politically. Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Tue, Oct 27, 2020
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS
Enlarge this image In this photo provided by Eli Lilly, a researcher tests possible COVID-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis, Ind. On Monday, U.S. government officials announced they are putting an early end to a study testing an Eli Lilly antibody drug for people hospitalized with COVID-19 because it is unlikely to help. David Morrison/AP David Morrison/AP Eli Lilly & Co. is ending a clinical trial of its antibody drug bamlanivimab in hospitalized COVID-19 patients after federal researchers concluded the therapy produced no marked improvement. The study of the monoclonal antibody called bamlanivimab was initially paused by the company on Oct. 13 out of "an abundance of caution," because of a potential safety concern. For this particular study the therapy was being used in combination with remdesivir, an antiviral with emergency use authorization for the virus. Remdesivir was among the medications President Trump received after contracting the coronavirus. On Monday, the National Institutes of Health, which sponsored the trial, found the antibody treatment posed no significant safety risks for patients. However, researchers said, "bamlanivimab is unlikely to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from this advanced stage of their disease." The decision to end this study does not put an end to Lilly's investment in the experimental therapy. Company officials said they "remain confident ... that bamlanivimab monotherapy may prevent progression of disease for those earlier in the course of COVID-19." The company and the NIH are pursuing several additional trials involving the antibody, which is designed to stop the virus from infecting cells. The trials target patients with less advanced stages of the disease. Let's block ads! (Why?) [...]
Tue, Oct 27, 2020
Source: Headlines -NPR Category: TOP NEWS