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Michelle Obama, Bernie Sanders speak on Day 1 of the DNC

Former first lady Michelle Obama and Sen. Bernie Sanders are among the high-wattage speakers who delivered prime-time remarks Monday.
Image: Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders against a background of lightbeams and stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

The Democratic National Convention kicked off Monday in what is shaping up to be a nominating convention unlike any other.

The first night of the almost all-virtual event featured keynote speaker Michelle Obama, as well as former Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders, the independent from Vermont, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Andrew Cuomo of New York.

Presumptive nominee Joe Biden's pick for vice president, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, is expected to speak Wednesday night along with former President Barack Obama.

Jill Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and other high-wattage headliners will round out the programming in days leading up to Biden's acceptance speech on Thursday.

NBC News will air a special report from 10 to 11 p.m. ET each night, and MSNBC will have convention coverage from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., with special coverage beginning at 9 p.m. NBC News Now will livestream the convention each day, with special coverage starting at 8 p.m. And follow us here on NBCNews.com for breaking news, analysis and fact checks.

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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading DNC news from August 18, 2020.

Longoria, other entertainment activists to emcee DNC

Democrats have lined up a group of influential actresses and activists to headline each night of the Democratic National Convention this week, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign confirmed.

Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, former “Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Tracee Ellis Ross will each emcee a night of the convention, with Longoria on Monday, Ross  on Tuesday, Washington on Wednesday and Louis-Dreyfus on the convention’s final day on Thursday.

Three of the four are minorities: Longoria co-founded the Latino Victory Fund and held a “Presidente Finance  Council” fundraiser for Biden recently as she continues to bring Hispanic voters into the party. Washington and Ross are both Black American women who have devoted their work to numerous causes uplifting their communities’ voices.

DNC Chair Perez says party's focus this week will be that Trump is 'chronically incompetent'

Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said Monday that the party will focus at the convention this week on casting President Donald Trump as “chronically incompetent.” 

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Perez said that coronavirus fatalities have surpassed 170,000, a grim death toll that he said was preventable.

“This is why we need leadership that is competent — that is Joe Biden,” he said. 

Perez also said the Trump administration's actions regarding the Postal Service have boosted Democrats’ case for expanding mail-in ballots this election, which he said will help them in ongoing litigation. In Wisconsin, for example, a judge has to “make a really important switch in the deadline" for ballots, he said.

“In April, we were able to persuade the judge that as long as the ballots were postmarked by Election Day, as opposed to received by Election Day, they would count,” he said. “That enfranchised over 90,000 voters. Every day that this administration does what it does by playing politics with the Postal Service, they are making our record for us.”

Democrats tap an array of faith leaders to speak at convention

The Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., who criticized President Donald Trump after he held a Bible aloft at a photo op at a historic church in her diocese, is among the diverse group of faith leaders selected by Democrats to speak at their presidential nominating convention.

Bishop Mariann Budde will deliver the benediction on Tuesday, the second night of the convention, according to a list shared with The Associated Press. The convention will be almost entirely virtual, with online video addresses. Other faith leaders scheduled to speak include the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, the Florida-based pastor who founded the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Jerry Young of the Mississippi-based New Hope Baptist Church; Archbishop Elpidophoros, leader of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America; and Rabbi Lauren Berkun, vice president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

Berkun is one of four faith leaders from three religious traditions who are scheduled to speak on Thursday, the convention's final day. Also set to speak on Thursday are Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the advocacy group NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and a longtime Biden ally dating to the push to pass President Barack Obama's health care plan; the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and editor at large of the Jesuit magazine America; and Imam Al-Hajj Talib ’Abdur-Rashid, a Muslim social justice activist who leads the New York-based Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood.

2020 Democratic National Convention: 'Virtually' everything you need to know

The Democratic National Convention is set to kick off next week — and thanks to coronavirus precautions, it will look much different than the traditional quadrennial four-day presidential nominating event.

The large crowds of political boosters originally planned to swarm into swing state Wisconsin aren't coming, and even the presumptive Democratic nominee won't be in Milwaukee — Joe Biden will accept the nomination virtually.

Here's everything you need to know about the event.