President Biden and Vice President Harris met Friday with Asian American leaders in Atlanta in the wake of the spa shootings in Georgia that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.

“Hate and violence often hide in plain sight and are so often met with silence. That’s been true throughout history,” Biden said after the meeting. “But that has to change because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.”

Biden and Harris also visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to discuss the effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In Washington, meanwhile, top labor union officials and liberal leaders in the House are applying fresh pressure Friday on Biden and Democratic congressional leaders to pass legislation increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, demanding that it happen this year.

Here’s what to know:

  • Biden confirmed his plans to nominate former senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) to lead NASA. Nelson flew in the space shuttle in 1986 and oversaw NASA’s space programs while in Congress.
  • Amid growing political fallout from a migration surge along the U.S. southern border, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is traveling Friday to El Paso with a bipartisan group of senators.
  • The Senate confirmed William J. Burns as the next director of the CIA, placing one of the country’s most experienced career diplomats in charge of the spy agency.
  • Xavier Becerra narrowly won Senate confirmation to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency pivotal to Biden’s urgent goal of defeating the coronavirus pandemic and expanding access to health care.
12:19 a.m.
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Cuomo faces new allegation of misbehavior by another female employee

Another employee of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration went public Friday with claims that he ogled her body, remarked on her looks and made other suggestive comments that she found inappropriate, opening yet another front in the growing sexual harassment scandal that has upended New York politics.

The employee, Alyssa McGrath, also said she had spoken privately with another member of Cuomo’s staff about that woman’s allegations that he groped her during a private encounter in the governor’s mansion. The allegations of that person, who has not been publicly named, were referred to Albany police by Cuomo’s staff last week after she described them to a supervisor.

The new claims add fuel to a steadily widening scandal that has deeply eroded Cuomo’s standing in New York and within the Democratic Party. Democrats in the state Assembly and the New York attorney general’s office have launched investigations of his behavior, and a majority of New York’s delegation at the U.S. Capitol, including Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand, has called on him to resign.

12:17 a.m.
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Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club partially closed after staff infected with coronavirus

Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has been partially closed after some of its employees were infected with the coronavirus, according to an email sent to club members Friday afternoon.

“As some of our staff have recently tested positive for COVID-19, we will be temporarily suspending service at the Beach Club and à la carte Dining Room,” club management said, according to an email obtained by The Washington Post.

“Banquet and Event services remain open,” the email said.

The Trump Organization declined to say how many workers were affected. The Palm Beach club — which includes the former president’s home as well as restaurants and banquet facilities — has dozens of employees during the winter season.

10:42 p.m.
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Some Capitol fencing to be removed, Constitution and Independence avenues reopened

A top Capitol security official said Friday that a temporary fence will be removed from the Capitol perimeter over the weekend, opening Constitution and Independence Avenues to traffic no later than Monday.

Acting House sergeant-at-arms Timothy P. Blodgett said in a memo that while the outer fence erected in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will be dismantled, an inner fence will remain around the Capitol building itself indefinitely while “necessary security repairs” are finalized.

Capitol authorities acknowledged earlier this month that some of the post-riot security measures, including steel fencing that created a large perimeter several blocks around the Capitol, were not justified by the current threat to lawmakers.

“The National Guard will continue to maintain a presence to support our increased security posture although their presence has been modified to support a reduced perimeter,” Blodgett wrote. “The [Capitol Police] will continue to monitor the threat posture, should a change occur, plans will be reevaluated.”

10:37 p.m.
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Biden says Georgia’s election helped ‘save our democracy’

Biden credited Georgia for a fair election that “helped save our democracy,” and urged residents to continue the fight for voting rights as Republicans seek to limit voter access.

Speaking in Atlanta, Biden pushed back at former president Donald Trump’s baseless claims about voter fraud and a rigged election. Trump had pressured Republican Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in the state.

“The fact that your poll workers, your election workers, your volunteers, your local officials, your state officials, your courts stood up to the immense pressure with character and honesty and integrity, helped save our democracy. This country will long be grateful for it,” Biden said.

He stressed that in the state of Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, the fight for voting rights continues. Georgia Republicans have been moving in the state legislature to enact laws to limit voting and impose additional requirements such as voter IDs for absentee ballots.

“The battle for the right to vote is never, ever over. And it’s not over here in the state of Georgia. So we’re in a fight again. It’s a fight we need to win, because if anyone ever doubted that voting matters, Georgia just proved it did,” Biden said.

He was referring to the election of Sens. Raphael G. Warnock and Jon Ossoff on Jan. 5, which gave Democrats control of the Senate and enabled the majority to secure narrow approval of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Biden said that when Georgia elected the two men, the state made it “possible to pass the American Rescue plan, landmark legislation to not only meet the emergency … but transform this nation.”

10:34 p.m.
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Biden, Harris denounce attacks on Asian Americans: ‘Hate can have no safe harbor in America'

Speaking after a meeting with public officials and Asian American leaders in Atlanta, President Biden and Vice President Harris denounced Tuesday’s mass shooting that killed eight people — six of them of Asian descent — as well as the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans.

Harris, whose mother was from India, and who is the first woman and the first Black and Asian American person elected vice president, recounted the long history of discrimination against people of Asian descent in the United States, from laws forbidding Chinese railroad workers from owning property in the 1860s to the forced internment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II.

“Racism is real in America, and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America and always has been. Sexism, too,” Harris said. “A harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. The president and I will not be silent. We will not stand by. We will always speak out against violence, hate crimes and discrimination, wherever and whenever it occurs.”

Vice President Harris spoke at Emory University after meeting with Asian American leaders in Atlanta on March 19 after eight people were killed this week. (The Washington Post)

Citing speeches he had made throughout his campaign as well as his inaugural address, Biden said standing together against hate and racism should be one of the core values that brings people together as Americans.

“Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year, feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake,” Biden said.

Biden said the Justice Department would be strengthening its partnership with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to prevent hate crimes, and he called on Congress to pass the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act. But he acknowledged that legislation could go only so far.

“Hate and violence often hide in plain sight and are so often met with silence. That’s been true throughout history. But that has to change because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act,” Biden said. “… For all the good the laws can do, we have to change our hearts. Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It must stop. And it’s on all of us, all of us together to make it stop.”

Biden and Harris had originally planned to travel to Georgia to hold a car rally to celebrate the passage of their $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, but they canceled that event in the wake of the mass shooting.

8:56 p.m.
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White House Easter Egg Roll canceled again over covid concerns

The White House is canceling its annual Easter Egg Roll this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the second year in a row the event will not take place because of concerns about covid-19.

The White House will instead send out thousands of commemorative 2021 Easter Egg Roll eggs in the coming days to vaccination sites and local hospitals, said Michael LaRosa, a spokesman for first lady Jill Biden.

“The Bidens hope to continue this tradition in 2022,” LaRosa said. “We urge everyone this Easter to continue wearing masks, engage in social distancing and get the vaccine when it is your turn.”

7:46 p.m.
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Former Green Beret charged in riot threw a flagpole at an officer like a spear, FBI says

A former Army Special Forces soldier charged with a half-dozen crimes stemming from the Capitol riot threw a flagpole at a police officer like a spear and assaulted three other officers, according to the FBI and court documents.

Jeffrey McKellop, 55, who was arrested Wednesday, is among more than 30 veterans charged in the Jan. 6 incident but appears to be the first so far who served in Special Operations, according to service records analyzed by The Washington Post.

McKellop, of Augusta County, Va., faces six charges, among them assaulting a police officer with a deadly or dangerous weapon. He did not enter a plea on Thursday. His attorneys Greg Hunter and Seth Peritz declined to comment on his case.

The former soldier served two enlistments for a total of 22 years, according to his Army service record. His second enlistment, from 1993 to 2010, included time as a mechanic and a Special Forces communications sergeant. The role includes overseeing radios and other communications vital to small team Green Beret missions.

7:09 p.m.
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Fourteen Republicans vote against House resolution condemning military coup in Myanmar

Fourteen House Republicans voted Friday against a bipartisan resolution condemning the military coup in Myanmar and calling for the release of all those detained.

In February, the military seized control and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy, resulting in U.S. sanctions and bipartisan calls in Congress for the military to release the civilian political leaders.

The resolution condemns the coup and says the House “stands with the people of Burma in their ambition for sustainable peace, a genuine democracy, and the realization of human rights for all, including for ethnic minorities whose human rights have been violated repeatedly and who have been disenfranchised historically.”

Myanmar is also known as Burma.

The 14 Republicans who voted against the resolution were Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.); Lauren Boebert (Colo.); Andy Biggs (Ariz.); Matt Gaetz (Fla.); Thomas Massie (Ky.); Ken Buck (Colo.); Mary E. Miller (Ill.); Chip Roy (Tex.); Jody Hice (Ga.); Alex Mooney (W. Va.); Scott Perry (Pa.); Andy Harris (Md.); Ted Budd (N.C.); and Barry Moore (Ala.).

Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) voted present.

The final vote was 398-14.

In a video posted to Twitter, Biggs explained his reasoning behind the no vote, saying that while he condemned the violence, the resolution would do nothing to stop the military and the United States cannot be the world’s police.

“There are these types of government oppression everywhere in the world. There is suffering everywhere in the world and we simply can’t be the military police for the entire world,” he said. “When we do that that’s how we end up in Afghanistan for 20 years … the resolution won’t stop the military junta.”

Forbes, which reached out to all 14 Republicans, said Harris said in a statement that Congress should be dealing with “COVID positive illegal aliens being dispersed into our communities” rather than “wasting time on useless resolutions about a foreign country.”

6:49 p.m.
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Biden delivers pep talk for CDC leadership and staff, says ‘science is back’

President Biden thanked staffers for their work on the coronavirus while visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on March 19. (The Washington Post)

President Biden declared “science is back” as he and Vice President Harris visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, where staff relayed concerns about coronavirus variants as they briefed the pair on efforts to combat the pandemic.

“Science is back, all kidding aside,” Biden said, as he praised the leadership and staff of the agency under his administration for stepping up efforts in recent months, calling them “front-line troops.”

“I hope this is the beginning of the end of not paying attention to what’s going to come again and again and again,” Biden said, suggesting vigilance once the current pandemic is weathered.

“We can build all the walls we want, we can have the most powerful armies in the world, but we cannot stop, we cannot stop these viruses, other than be aware of where they are, move quickly on them when we find them,” he said.

Biden and Harris were greeted by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who noted that Biden had hit his goal of 100 million doses of vaccines being administered in the United States on Day 58 of his term — well ahead of his deadline of 100 days.

“I’m so energized by the future, and yet we have so much work left to do,” Walensky said.

6:18 p.m.
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The Biden administration gets a taste of China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy

In the opening remarks of a high-level meeting with Chinese and American diplomats in Anchorage on March 18, both sides took turns reprimanding each other. (The Washington Post)

When top Biden administration officials chose a venue for their inaugural meeting with Chinese counterparts, they settled on snowy Anchorage.

But footage of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s meeting with Chinese Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi on Thursday revealed an atmosphere that was not so much cool as burning hot.

The Biden White House, it seems, has gotten its first real taste of China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy.

5:38 p.m.
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McCarthy says he probably had coronavirus shortly before November election, based on presence of antibodies

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Friday that he probably had the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to the November election but did not realize it at the time.

McCarthy disclosed that bloodwork done in conjunction with surgery on his elbow in December showed that he had coronavirus antibodies.

“The doctor called me and said I have the antibodies, and so I had to have had it,” McCarthy told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Given the timing of the bloodwork and his frequent coronavirus testing, McCarthy said, he deduced that he must have had the virus “right before the election or somewhere like that.”

“I never knew,” he said. “What’s odd is, I’ve probably been tested more than 50 times.”

McCarthy said he was vaccinated after the bloodwork had been done but before he received the results.

5:29 p.m.
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Twitter says it temporarily suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account overnight in error

Twitter’s temporary suspension of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) account overnight was in error, a Twitter spokeswoman said.

We use a combination of technology and human review to enforce the Twitter Rules across the service,” she said. “In this case, our automated systems took enforcement action on the account referenced in error. This action has been reversed, and access to the account has been reinstated.”

The suspension coincided with an effort by some Democrats to expel her from Congress.

Greene’s campaign released a statement about her temporary Twitter suspension, accusing the social media company of abetting Democrats in their efforts to oust her.

“At around 1:00AM, in the dark of night, Twitter chose to silence a sitting member of Congress facing an unprecedented political attack by House Democrats,” the Greene campaign statement said. “This is yet another attempt by the Silicon Valley Cartel to silence voices that speak out against their far-left woke orthodoxy.”

Twitter had not informed Greene what rules she had violated. Her account was locked once before in mid-January “for multiple violations of our civic integrity policy.” Her tweets at the time were related to debunked claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

Greene’s last tweets before her account was locked railed against the effort to expel her from Congress.

“Democrats have declared me Public Enemy Number One. Tomorrow, 72+ radical Socialists are introducing a resolution to EXPEL me from Congress. And it’s all because I stand for the PEOPLE over politicians,” Greene tweeted.

In January, Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) drafted a resolution to remove Greene from Congress, claiming she is a threat to lawmakers’ safety. He officially introduced it Friday.

“I believe some of my Republican colleagues, and one in particular, wish harm upon this legislative body. And I’m not saying this for shock value. It’s the conclusion I drew after a member of Congress advocated violence against our peers, the Speaker, and our government,” Gomez said on the House floor.

“I take no joy in introducing this resolution, but any member who incites political violence and threatens our lives must be expelled.”

Gomez is referring to social media posts that surfaced in January showing Greene had liked Facebook posts advocating violence against Democrats, including one that suggested shooting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the head.

Pelosi would not comment on Gomez’s resolution, other than to say she wasn’t involved.

“Members are very unhappy about what happened here and they can express themselves the way they do,” Pelosi said during a news conference. “What Mr. Gomez did is his own view, and that is not leadership position.”

5:16 p.m.
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White House appoints former NOAA leader Jane Lubchenco to key climate change role

The White House has appointed Jane Lubchenco, a well-known marine scientist at Oregon State University and former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to a high-level position coordinating climate and environmental issues within its Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

The announcement scheduled for Friday marks another step in the Biden administration’s all-of-government approach to tackling climate change.

Lubchenco is serving in the renamed position of deputy director for climate and the environment, which in previous administrations had been known as the head of “energy and the environment.” Her portfolio encompasses a broad set of issues that President Biden asked OSTP officials to address in a letter on Jan. 15.

4:07 p.m.
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Biden stumbles as he climbs stairs to Air Force One

On March 19, President Biden stumbled walking up the stairs while boarding Air Force One. (The Washington Post)

Biden stumbled multiple times as he climbed the stairs leading to Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews as he prepared to depart for Atlanta on Friday.

As he climbed the stairs, Biden lost his footing, caught himself and then took a larger stumble before righting himself and continuing his way up the rest of the stairs.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre later told reporters traveling with Biden that he was “doing just great."

“It’s pretty windy outside, it’s very windy,” she said. “I almost fell coming up the steps myself.”

In a tweet, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said that Biden did not require any medical attention from the doctors who travel with him.

During last year’s campaign, Biden’s team made an issue of it when President Donald Trump gingerly walked down a ramp at the U.S. Military Academy.

A Biden ad featured footage of the episode, which it contrasted with Biden running up a ramp. The narrator said some people “race up steps when others take it slow.”