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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenRussian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports House Dems to offer up road map to solve the climate crisis Supreme Court ruling could unleash new legal challenges to consumer bureau MORE in recent weeks has added a handful of campaign aides who worked in the White House during the Obama administration.

The campaign brought on four former staffers who worked under Obama confidant Valerie JarrettValerie June Jarrett'Defund the police' movement hits semantics roadblock Valerie Jarrett: 'Democracy depends upon having law enforcement' Valerie Jarrett to DOJ on George Floyd: 'We expect action, we expect justice' MORE, Axios reported Tuesday. Three of the four joined the campaign in late May as senior advisers, while the other joined Biden's transition team late this month.

All four new hires are people of color, underscoring the Biden campaign's effort to inject more diversity into its upper ranks.

"By lifting up these particular individuals, he’s giving the rest of us a window into who’s going to help run the show in the White House, and I think that’s engendering more confidence in him," one Obama administration alum told Axios.

Former President Obama has become more active in the campaign, appearing in an online fundraiser with Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on June 23. The event was viewed by 175,000 donors and generated more than $7.6 million.

Recent polls, including one from Fox News, show Biden widening his lead nationally over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTop intelligence officials release statements criticizing leaking of Russian bounties information Russian bounty intel was included in Trump's daily briefing: reports Senators will have access to intelligence on Russian bounties on US troops MORE, who is also trailing the former vice president in several battleground states.

Tags Joe Biden Barack Obama Donald Trump Valerie Jarrett 2020 election 2020 campaign Obama White House Diversity polls Battleground states

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Coronavirus: Daily deaths in California reach highest level in a month, case count continues to rise

For the third time in the past week, California reported at least 100 deaths from COVID-19 as the seven-day average of fatalities from the virus rose to its highest level in a month, according to data compiled by this news organization.

As the number of cases spiked around the state and more patients were hospitalized, many have wondered if an increase in deaths would follow. Health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, have said deaths are a lagging indicator — reflecting infections from weeks prior to the death being reported.

For weeks now, California has been reporting record number of infections, followed by rising hospitalizations and now, its deadliest week since the end of May (May 26-June 2). On Tuesday, the seven-day average of new cases per day climbed to 7,358 — 62% higher than two weeks ago. And after 118 newly reported deaths — tied for the second-most in a single day — the average per day over the past week (69) was at its highest since June 2 (70) and up 10% from a week ago.

However, the record-breaking numbers the past two days come with an asterisk: delayed test results from the holiday weekend were still trickling in Tuesday. But even when averaged across the past week, cases are on the rise in nearly every part of the state and at an all-time high, as are hospitalizations.

Just in the past 24 hours, there has been a 3.4% increase in hospital patients and 2% rise in patients in intensive care units. The 5,989 hospitalized patients represent a 46% increase from two weeks ago but still account for less than 10% of the state’s total hospital beds.

In the Bay Area, counties are reporting 750 new cases per day over the past week — an 80% increase from two weeks ago — with 515 patients currently hospitalized with the virus, nearly double the number two weeks ago (264). Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties have given the most fuel to the rise, with respective seven-day averages up 132% (Santa Clara: 68 cases per day to 158) and 125% (Contra Costa: 61 cases per day to 137). Elsewhere, that rate has risen 78% in Alameda County (90 per day to 160), 71% in San Francisco (35 to 60) and 69% in San Mateo (39 to 66).

The Bay Area accounts for a sliver of the deaths statewide and continued to mostly avoid the worst of the virus even on the state’s second-deadliest day. There were nine fatalities reported around the region as that seven-day average remained around five per day.

Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties accounted for the majority of the deaths reported Tuesday, totaling 75 between the three of them.

Los Angeles has long been the epicenter of the the virus in California — it accounts for 43% of the 280,000-plus cases in the state and 55% of the 6,500 deaths, despite making up about a quarter of the population — but cases there have been rising more slowly while deaths have been declining for a month. The seven-day average of new cases there was up 29% from two weeks ago, compared to 80% in the Bay Area, 86% in the Central Valley and 94% in other parts of Southern California.

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In seven Central Valley counties — Fresno, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare (population: 3.4 million) — the number of cases has risen from 14.5 per 100,000 residents per day to 27. In the four counties between Los Angeles and the Arizona and Mexican borders — Imperial, Orange, Riverside and San Diego (population: 9.1 million) — cases are rising even faster: up 94% in two weeks, from 10.8 per 100,000 residents per day to 21 per 100,000. The per-capita case rate in the Bay Area (population: 8 million) remains lower than both regions even before recent spikes, at 9.4 cases per 100,000 residents per day.

A day after the U.S. recorded its 3 millionth confirmed case of COVID-19, the Bay Area was expected to cross a slightly less morbid milestone: its 30,000th confirmed case. As of Tuesday, there were 29,880 cases and 618 deaths in the region — each about 10% of the statewide total.

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