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.
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This live coverage has now ended. Continue reading DNC news from August 18, 2020.
Woman whose father died of COVID: 'His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump'
Kristin Urquiza, whose father died in Arizona in June from COVID-19, delivered a blistering rebuke of Trump's handling of the pandemic.
Urquiza told the story of her father, Mark Anthony Urquiza, who she said trusted Trump and other Republican leaders when they said the coronavirus was under control and would disappear.
Urquiza said her dad went to a karaoke bar with friends once Arizona's stay-at-home order was lifted in May and a few weeks later he was put on a ventilator. He died alone in the ICU "with a nurse holding his hand."
"My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only pre-existing condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that, he paid with his life," Urquiza said. "Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse."
"I was gripped not only by grief, but by anger and rage, that his life didn't seem to matter to the people in charge," Urquiza told NBC News earlier this year. "They have blood on their hands. People are dying."
Cuomo says coronavirus 'a metaphor' for Trump-led crisis
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a longtime Democratic leader whose national profile was boosted in the pandemic, bashed the Trump administration for its handling of the outbreak in an address to the Democratic convention Monday and said Biden will be able to "restore the soul of America."
"Our nation is in crisis, and in many ways, COVID is just a metaphor," Cuomo said. "A virus attacks when the body is weak and when it cannot defend itself. Over these past few years, America’s body politic has been weakened."
Cuomo came under the spotlight for his role in shepherding New York through the pandemic with daily press briefings that often garnered national attention. During his speech Monday, Cuomo once again used slides to make his point.
"Only a strong body can fight off the virus, and America’s divisions weakened it," Cuomo said. "Donald Trump didn’t create the initial division. The division created Trump; he only made it worse."
Cuomo added the nation needs "a leader as good as our people."
"Joe Biden can restore the soul of America," he said. "And that’s exactly what our country needs today."
Clyburn praises 'adopted son of South Carolina' Joe Biden in speech highlighting race
Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina is the man who gave Biden’s campaign a jolt of energy after endorsing him in the state's Democratic primary in February.
Black voters were essential to Biden's securing the nomination and, in his speech tonight, Clyburn seem to acknowledge to be speaking directly to many of those voters.
Clyburn gave a nod to the racial reckoning currently taking place in the U.S., describing the slave ships that arrived on South Carolina’s shores centuries ago, the white supremacist that murdered nine Black parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015, the recent removal of Confederate monuments and a forthcoming museum dedicated to African American history.
"Much like the country as a whole, we are stepping out from the shadows of our past — and beginning to lay the groundwork for a more just future," Clyburn said, adding that a Biden presidency would be forward-looking and one of unity and empathy.
"That’s why I stand with Joe, and why he will always be an adopted son of South Carolina," he said. "Joe Biden is as good a man as he is a leader. I have said before and wish to reiterate tonight: We know Joe — but more importantly, Joe knows us."
St. Louis couple who waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters will join GOP convention
A source familiar with the planning confirms to NBC News that the St. Louis couple who waved guns at Black Lives Matter protesters will participate in the GOP convention next week.
As first reported by the Washington Post, Patricia and Mark McCloskey will join the mostly virtual Republican National Convention next week to express support for Trump.
Dems turn to Bruce Springsteen to spark 'The Rising'
Less than 20 minutes into the first night of the DNC, and we've got our first Bruce Springsteen jam.
A video montage with a Biden voice over set to "The Rising," featuring a brief shot of The Boss himself, provided a musical interlude between some of the heavier interviews and speeches.
The song comes from Springsteen's 2002 album, most of which was written in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. It was a critical and commercial hit.
Springsteen has a pretty tight relationship with some of the big names in the Democratic party. He even played "The Rising" at Obama's inauguration in 2009.
George Floyd's brother honors those killed by police with moment of silence at DNC
Philonise Floyd honored his brother and others killed by police in a moment of silence at Monday night's Democratic National Convention.
He characterized George, who was killed while in police custody in May, as "selfless" and a "giving spirit" who "always made sacrifices for his family, friends, and even complete strangers."
After his brother's death, his "spirit" poured into streets around the globe with Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests. His speech could be a poignant reminder to voters about the country's racial strife and the administration's response to it over the years.
"It’s a fitting legacy for our brother. But George should be alive today. Breonna Taylor should be alive today," he said. "Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. Eric Garner should be alive today. Stephon Clark, Atatiana Jefferson, Sandra Bland—they should all be alive today."
He added, "So it’s up to us to carry on the fight for justice. Our actions will be their legacies. We must always find ourselves in what John Lewis called 'good trouble.' For the names we do not know, the faces we will never see, those we can’t mourn because their murders didn’t go viral."
Bowser says 'we can't just say' Black Lives Matter
Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, D.C., who gained notoriety for her handling of police brutality protests in the nation's capital, lambasted the Trump administration's response to the demonstrations following George Floyd's death.
"While we were peacefully protesting, Donald Trump was plotting," Bowser said. "He stood in front of one of our most treasured houses of worship and held a Bible for a photo op. He sent troops in camouflage into our streets. He sent tear gas into the air — federal helicopters, too. I knew if he did this to D.C., he would do it to your city or your town."
"I have a 2-year-old daughter," she added. "I want her to grow up in an America where she’s not scared to walk to the store. An America where she’s safe behind the doors of her own home. An America where the president doesn’t fan the flames of racism, and looks out for all of us."
Bowser, speaking from Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, said that by electing Biden and Harris, "We will say: 'Next.'"
"We can’t just say those words," she said. "We have to live those words. We have to undo the laws and systems that have codified racism for far too long."
Voters around the country share their story
Longoria kicked off the program by interviewing different people from around the country impacted by President Doanld Trump’s policy decisions.
She spoke to a Pennsylvania farmer hit hard by the trade war, a Texas nurse struggling with reopening amid the pandemic, a small business owner unsure if he can rebound from the coronavirus and a teen activist trying to find new ways to communicate with her peers in the age of social distancing.
DNC begins with national anthem from all states and territories
The Democrats opened the convention with a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" sung by people on video in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
Biden's grandchildren also recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
And we’re off!
Actress and activist Eva Longoria, who will be emceeing the first night of the Democratic National Convention, introduced Monday’s program with a brief speech. Longoria, co-founder of the Latino Victory Fund, is one of four actresses who will emcee the convention, each on their own night.
Longoria has been active in politics for more than a decade, contributing significant amounts to getting Latinos elected through Latino Victory and backing Obama's candidacy. She has also worked to improve women's presence in film and recently launched Movimiento Latino to pull in Latino forces to the uprisings begun by the Black Lives Matter Movement.
After she spoke, a series of diverse speakers addressed the convention in a pre-recorded video.
And, with House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., then officially gaveling in the convention, we’re off...