Presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden Jr. stated in a May 27, 2020 interview he hoped to choose his vice-presidential running mate by August 1. In March, Biden definitively stated he would choose a woman to run with him. Meanwhile, a recent Morning Consult poll tested the relative strength of nine rumored candidates, finding that only three Senators even slightly boosted Biden’s electoral position: United States Senator (“Senator”) from Massachusetts Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. The other six—Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and United States House of Representatives Member (“Representative”) from Florida Val Demings—all hurt Biden, albeit slightly. Notably, the first three Senators sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, boosting their national profile in the process—and making it difficult to distinguish “actual” electoral boost from name recognition.
In the early summer of 2016, when it became clear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic presidential nominee that year, I built a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet listing 200 possible choices—including every current Senator, governor, Representative serving as party leader or Committee ranking member, mayor of one of the top 10 cities by population, or Cabinet member, as well as anyone who had served in that position within the last 10 years and a handful of other options. Virginia Senator Tim Kaine—who Clinton named her running mate on July 22, 2016—just edged out Klobuchar and former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis for the highest score.
Once it became clear Biden would be the nominee, meanwhile, I built an analogous spreadsheet. Along with every current and recent Senator, governor, big-city mayor and Cabinet official, I included all 89 women serving in the House as Democrats, as well as Abrams.
However, I excluded any woman who was:
- Born outside of the United States, citing the “natural born citizen” requirement of Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States of America
- Under the age of 35, citing the same requirements
- From the state of Delaware, citing the requirement in Amendment XII that the vice president “shall not be an inhabitant of the same state as” the president.
- A non-political figure such as media titan Oprah Winfrey or former First Lady Michelle Obama
My final list contained 123 candidates, including:
- 80 current (79) or former (1) House members
- 21 current (16) or former (5) Senators
- 7 current (5) or former (2) governors
- 9 former Cabinet officials
- 4 mayors: former Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker, as well as Atlanta, GA Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; San Francisco, CA Mayor London Breed and Chicago, IL Mayor Lori Lightfoot
- Abrams and former presidential candidate Marianne Williamson
And here is a scene our younger daughter drew on the still-popular white board. This has nothing to do with Biden’s selection of a running mate; I just like it.
To assess the candidates for vice president, I examined three broad categories:
- Demographic balance
- Governmental experience
- Electoral strengths and weaknesses.
The first category is both symbolic—women of color overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party—and practical—this year’s vice-presidential nominee could well the next presidential nominee. It also acknowledges that Biden is a 77-year-old white man, meaning a much younger woman of color would provide the clearest contrast.
The second category speaks to the ability of the Vice President to assume the presidency at a moment’s notice, as stipulated in Amendment XXV. This is especially important in a Biden Administration, as Biden, who would be the oldest president of the United States, suffered two brain aneurysms in February 1988.
Finally, the third category stipulates that no presidential candidate should ever assume victory, so it is important for a running mate to increase the likelihood of such a victory by, for example, unifying the party or helping to win key voting blocs or regions.
Ideally, then, Biden’s running mate would be a younger woman of color with sufficient governmental experience who can enhance his chances of defeating President Donald J. Trump in November 2020. Or, at the very least, his running mate will not hurt Biden in any of these categories; above all else, a vice-presidential running mate should do no harm.
I calculated a score for each variable, as follows:
1. Demographic balance.
Age. To balance the fact Biden will be 78 years old on January 20, 2021, I created the following point system, using the somewhat-arbitrary “center point” age of 57 (20 years younger than Biden) and adjusting for someone being too young:
- 35-46 (n=17): (57-Age)-2*(47-Age)
- 47-66 (60): 57-Age
- 67-76 (32): (57-Age)-3*(Age-67)
- ≥77 (12): (57-Age)-5*(Age-67)
This measure penalizes being older—especially older than Biden—far more than it rewards being younger, and it ranges from 10 for 47-year-old Representative Jahana Hayes of Connecticut to -124 for 86-year-old California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Race/Ethnicity. To balance the fact Biden is white, I assigned the following points:
- White (n=77): -50
- Asian (6): 25
- Native American (2): 50
- Latina (10): 75
- Black (25): 90
- Black and Asian (1): 100
Harris has a Jamaican father and an Indian mother.
Sexual orientation: I want to think sexual orientation does not matter—but I subtracted 25 points if a listed woman was openly lesbian (Baldwin, Lightfoot, Parker and Minnesota Representative Angela Craig) and 10 points if there were rumors (former Maryland Secretary Barbara Mikulski, former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano).
TOTAL. The sum of these three measures ranges from -124 (Feinstein) to 102 (Harris)—literally the two Senators from California. The top 10 candidates in this category are listed in Table 1:
Table 1: Top 10 2020 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidates by Demographic Balance
|California Senator Kamala Harris||55||Black/
|Connecticut Representative Jahana Hayes||47||Black||No||100|
|Former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams||46||Black||No||99|
|Massachusetts Representative Ayana Pressley||46||Black||No||99|
|San Francisco Mayor London Breed||45||Black||No||98|
|Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms||50||Black||No||97|
|New York Representative Yvette Clark||55||Black||No||92|
|Alabama Representative Terri Sewell||55||Black||No||92|
|Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice||55||Black||No||92|
|Georgia Representative Lucy McBath||59||Black||No||88|
|Former EPA Director Lisa P. Jackson, Jr.||59||Black||No||88|
|Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch||61||Black||No||88|
The average value of this sum is -21.4, with a standard deviation (SD) of 71.1; the median is -47 (Florida Representative Kathy Castor, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Nevada Representative Susie Lee).
2. Governmental experience.
I calculated the number of years a candidate held each of these offices—Senate, governor, other statewide office (last 10 years only), House, Citywide office (last 10 years only), Cabinet—up to a maximum of 12 years, the equivalent of two Senate terms, to avoid overlapping with age too much. From this I subtracted the number of years since a candidate held that office. I assigned Abrams 1.75 years for her time as Minority Leader of the Georgia State House.
I weight experience as follows:
- Senate = 5
- Governor = 4
- Other statewide office = 3
- House = 2
- Citywide office = 2
- Cabinet = 1
- Other (e., Abrams) = 1
This variable ranges from 0 for Williamson to 64 for New Hampshire Senator (and former Governor) Jeanne Shaheen. The top 10 candidates in this category are listed in Table 2:
Table 2: Top 10 2020 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidates by Governmental Experience
|Name||Office 1||Office 2||TOTAL|
|New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen||Senator, 12 years||Governor, 6 years (-5 for time since 2008)||64|
|New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand||Senator, 12 years||None||60|
|Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar||Senator, 14 years||None||60|
|Washington Senator Maria Cantwell||Senator, 20 years||None||60|
|Washington Senator Patty Murray||Senator, 28 years||None||60|
|Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow||Senator, 20 years||None||60|
|California Senator Dianne Feinstein||Senator, 28 years||None||60|
|Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin||Senator, 8 years||House, 14 years (-8 years since 2012)||52|
|Former Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill||Senator, 12 years (-2 years since 2018)||None||50|
|Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren||Senator, 8 years||Credit 1 year for Directing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau||41|
The average of this weighted sum is 17.8 (SD=15.1); the median is 16 (14 women with 8 years in the House, including former 2020 Democratic presidential nomination candidate Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii).
3. Electoral strengths and weaknesses.
For this category, I considered eight questions:
- Will she help Biden win a key state in the Electoral College?
- Does she lack foreign policy or national security experience?
- Will she provide ideological balance?
- Will her ascension to the Vice Presidency cost Democrats a Senate seat?
- Is she a Senator up for reelection in 2020?
- Did she run for president in 2020?
- Has she ever run for political office?
- Is she a first-term member of the House?
Swing state status. On average, a vice-presidential nominee adds 2-3 percentage points to the party’s margin in her/his home state. But for most states—ones that are reliably Democratic or Republican, for example—these extra points mean nothing. In fact, choosing a running mate from one of these states could be considered a lost opportunity.
Using the probability Biden wins a given state in the 2020 presidential election, I determined which states were most likely to be the “tipping point” states—the state that gets him to the necessary 270 Electoral votes (EV) when states are ranked from most to least Democratic.
There are 13 states, including Delaware and the District of Columbia, where Biden is at least a 99.7% favorite, and they total 175 EV. The 54 candidates from these states were assigned -10 points.
In three states—Maine, New Mexico and Oregon—Biden is a 97.6-97.7% favorite; these states total 16 EV, although Maine assigns one EV to each of its two Congressional districts (CD). Thus, while the four candidates from New Mexico and Oregon are assigned -5 points, the two from Maine are assigned 0, because the 2nd CD could be pivotal. This gets us to 191 EV.
In four states—Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia—Biden is a 93.6-95.8% favorite; these states total 48 EV, for an overall total of 239. These states could possibly be the tipping point states, though that currently seems very unlikely. Thus, the 14 candidates from these states are assigned 0 points.
In three states—Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania—Biden is an 86.9-88.3% favorite; these states total 30 EV, for an overall total of 269. These are the first states that could reasonably be called tipping point states, thus the 11 candidates from these states are assigned 2 points.
The bottom line is that, RIGHT NOW, Biden is at least a 5-1 favorite in enough states to earn him 268 or 269 EV, depending on one CD in Maine.
The next most likely states for Biden are Wisconsin (78.8%, 10 EV) and Florida (71.1%, 29 EV), either of which would theoretically secure victory over President Donald J. Trump. Baldwin and Representative Gwen Moore could guarantee a victory in Wisconsin. Six House Members, including Demings, could guarantee a victory in Florida. These eight candidates each earn 10 points.
There are three states totaling 44 EV, meanwhile, where Biden is roughly a 2-1 favorite (64.8-66.0%): Arizona, North Carolina and Ohio. As they are marginally less likely tipping point states, the nine women from these states each earn 5 points.
Georgia’s 16 EV are close to a toss-up right now (42.7%), but it is even less likely to be a tipping point state. Still, Abrams and McBath each earn 3 points.
The next likeliest states for Biden to win are Iowa (24.8%; 6 EV) and Texas (17.8%; 38 EV). Representative Cindy Axne of Iowa gets 1 point, as do the six female House Members from Texas.
Finally, I gave McCaskill of Missouri (2.3%) -2 points and eight women from the 0-0-0.9% states of Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma and West Virginia -3 points.
In other words, I deducted the most points for candidates hailing from states in which Biden is a near-certain winner and fewer points for hailing from reliably Republican states, while adding the most points for the likeliest tipping point states.
I then added one point for every state west of the Mississippi River, as no Democratic presidential or vice-presidential nominee has come from there, and I subtracted one point for being from the regionally-redundant states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Foreign policy/national security. I deducted 2.5 points from the 17 candidates who never served in the Senate, House or in a Cabinet-level foreign policy/national security role.
Ideological balance. I assume Biden is in the ideological center of the Democratic Party.
For each member of the House and Senate since January 2017 FiveThirtyEight.com calculates how often that member has voted with President Trump when he has taken a clear public position. House Members vote far less often with Trump (average=13.3%) than Senators (30.2%). Female Senators with the lowest Trump scores are Gillibrand (12.4%), Warren (13.9%) and Harris (16.5%), while Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp each voted with Trump just over half the time.
Using this score as a proxy for ideology—with the added bonus of specifically reflecting opposition to Trump, I calculated how many SD above or below the mean each candidate is relative to their house of Congress; for the 20 women with no Trump scores, I estimated a score based upon age and state. I then assigned points as follows:
- ≤-1.25 = 10
- -1.00 to 1.24 = 7.5
- -0.75 to -0.99 = 5
- -0.50 to -0.74 = 2.5
- -0.25 to -0.49 = 0
- -0.01 to -0.24 = -1
- 00 to 0.24 = -2
- 25 to 0.49 = -3
- 50 to 0.75 = -4
- 75 to 0.99 = -5
- 00 to 1.99 = -7.5
- ≥2.00 = -10
Ultimately, I deducted more points for being (relatively) well to the right of Biden than for being ideologically similar, as the former would actually harm Biden’s chances to win over the party’s progressive base, while the latter is effectively “do no harm.”
Loss of Senate seats. The Democrats are currently at a 53-47 disadvantage in the Senate, though they have a solid chance of recapturing it in November. But this means that every Democratic Senate seat is vitally important.
I thus deducted 10 points from Senators Warren, Shaheen, Sinema and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire because a Republican governor would appoint a replacement for each of them. I also deducted 2.5 points for Senators Baldwin, Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen of Nevada because, while their home state governors are Democrats, there is a non-trivial chance Democrats could lose a special election in Wisconsin or Nevada. Finally, I deducted 10 points for the two female Democratic Senators facing reelection this year: Shaheen and Tina Smith of Minnesota; both are heavily favored to win reelection, keeping those seats in Democratic hands.
Other considerations. Running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination both exposed candidates to extreme public scrutiny and served as a rough test run for campaigning for vice president; I thus added 5 points to Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Klobuchar, Warren and Williamson. Six former Cabinet officials (Burwell, Jackson, Lynch, former EPA Director Gina McCarthy, former Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Rice) have never run for any political office, let alone the vice presidency, so they each lost 10 points. And, given how hard Democrats worked to recapture the House in 2018, I deducted 5 points from each of the 28 female first-term Representatives.
TOTAL. This measure ranges from -21 for Rice, a Marylander who has never run for political office, to 16 for Arizona Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, whose Trump Score of 3.1% is the lowest of any woman in Congress. The top 10 candidates in this category are listed in Table 3:
Table 3: Top 10 2020 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidates by Electoral Strengths and Weaknesses
|Arizona Representative Ann Kirkpatrick||Tipping point state; low Trump Score||None||16|
|Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore||Tipping point state||None||12.5|
|Florida Representative Donna Shalala||Tipping point state; low Trump Score||First term||12.5|
|Former Florida Representative Corinne Brown||Tipping point state||None||12|
|Florida Representative Frederica Wilson||Tipping point state||First term||10|
|Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz||Tipping point state||Ideologically similar to Biden||9|
|Florida Representative Val Demings||Tipping point state||Ideologically similar to Biden||8|
|Florida Representative Kathy Castor||Tipping point state||Ideologically similar to Biden||8|
|Florida Representative Lois Frankel||Tipping point state||Ideologically similar to Biden||8|
|Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin||Tipping point state||Possible loss of Senate seat||7.5|
The average of this sum is -4.5, (SD=7.6); the median is -6 (Representatives Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Clarke, Nydia Velasquez of California, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey).
That these three sums measure somewhat distinct criteria can be seen in their Pearson correlations:
- Demographic balance / Governmental experience -0.31
- Governmental experience/ Electoral strengths and weaknesses -0.08
- Demographic balance / Electoral strengths and weaknesses 0.13
It is thus not surprising that only six women—Senators Cortez Masto and Harris, and Representatives Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Barbara Lee of California, Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and Moore—have above average scores in all three categories. Harris, in fact, comes closest to being at least 1 SD above the mean in all three categories, being +1.74 SD on Demographic Balance, +0.94 SD on Governmental Experience and +1.0 SD on Electoral Strengths and Weaknesses.
Indeed, when you convert each category sum to a z-score—number of SD above or below the mean—then sum them into an Initial Score, Harris ranks second, at 3.72, behind Moore at 3.95, with Brown (3.53), Gillibrand (3.52) and Klobuchar (3.47) rounding out the top five. Based upon the correlation of this initial sum with the three categories, it is slightly more associated with Electoral Strengths and Weaknesses (r=0.66) than with Demographic Balance (0.53) or Governmental Experience (0.40).
However, I adjusted these scores one final time, by adding up to 1 point or subtracting up to 10 points (Brown, for her 2017 conviction for fraud). Thus, I added 1 point to Warren, and 0.5 points each to Harris and Klobuchar, for Morning Consult poll performance. Similarly, Cortez Masto, Baldwin, Demings, Lujan Grisham and Whitmer each lose 0.5 points for their Morning Consult poll performance. That said, I added back 0.5 points to Demings for her service as Orlando Chief of Police because a woman of color serving in law enforcement could play well in the current climate. Speaking of criminality, I deducted 3 points from Moore for a tire-slashing incident involving her son and 2 points from Fudge for remarks she made about a serious domestic violence incident.
Other large deductions were:
- 5 points each from Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib for being broadly controversial (dropping her from 0.08 to -4.92) and Wasserman-Schultz for being despised by the progressive wing of the party (dropping her from 1.82 to -3.18).
- 3 points from Williamson for general kookiness (dropping her from -1.33 to 4.33)
- 2 points each from Cortez Masto and Shaheen for their declared disinterest in serving as Biden’s running mate.
- 2 points from Kirkpatrick for recent treatments for alcoholism.
- 3 total points from Klobuchar for her time serving as Hennepin County District Attorney and stories of ill-treating her staff—for a net loss of 2.5 points, dropping her to 0.97.
- Sheila Jackson Lee also loses 1 point for staff treatment and 2 points for retaliating against a staff member for alleging sexual harassment by a supervisor.
It is not clear how the impeachment of President Trump will play in the election, but on the theory it is slightly more likely to rile Trump voters than inspire Biden voters, I deducted 0.5 points from Demings, as well as Texas Representative Sylvia Garza and California Zoe Lofgren, who served as House Managers during the Senate trial.
Other deductions include 1 point each from Gillibrand for a seeming inauthenticity in her ideology, from California Representative Norma Torres for controversial remarks on the House floor, from Lynch for her questionable tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, from Gabbard for being generally disliked within the Democratic Party, from New York Representative Kathleen Rice for being a former Republican and from Whitmer for an ill-timed “joke” her husband made.
The Final Score is correlated 0.69 with the Initial Score, with an average of -0.40 (SD=1.63); the median is -0.453 (Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell and Parker). Only 24 of the 121 potential 2020 Democratic vice-presidential candidates had Final Scores of 1.00 of higher, as Table 4 shows.
Table 4: Top 2020 Democratic Vice-Presidential candidates by Final Score
|California Senator Kamala Harris||Black/Asian; 55;
Ran for president;
To left of Biden;
Popular with base
Only 4 years in Senate
|Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin||Wisconsin;
8 years in Senate/14 years in House
Lesbian; Possible loss of Senate seat; Ideologically similar to Biden
|New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand||53;
12 years in Senate;
Well to left of Biden;
Ran for president
New York; Disappointing presidential run; Suspected inauthenticity
|Florida Representative Frederica Wilson||Black;
10 years in House
|Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow||Michigan;
20 years in Senate
Slightly to right of Biden
|Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty||Black;
Ideologically similar to Biden
|Florida Representative Val Demings||Black;
Florida; Orlando Chief of Police
|OnIy four years in House; Ideologically similar to Biden||2.07|
|North Carolina Representative Alma Adams||Black;
Ideologically similar to Biden
|New York Representative Yvette Clark||Black;
12 years in House;
Left of Biden
|Former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams||Black;
Georgia; Progressive reputation
|No foreign policy or national security experience;
No office higher than state House
|Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren||Strong progressive; Ran for president; Very popular with party base;
8 years in Senate
Loss of Senate seat; Massachusetts
|Washington Senator Maria Cantwell||61;
20 years in Senate
|White; Washington; Similar to Biden ideologically||1.73|
|Florida Representative Kathy Castor|| Florida;
14 years in House
Slightly to right of Biden
|Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms||Black;
|No foreign policy or national security experience;
Never run statewise
|Georgia Representative Lucy McBath|| Black;
Left of Biden
|First-term House Member||1.57|
|Texas Representative Veronica Escobar||Latina;
Left of Biden
|First-term House Member||1.56|
|California Representative Barbara Lee||Black;
21 years in House;
Left of Biden
|Washington Senator Patty Murray||28 years in Senate||White; Washington;
|Michigan Representative Brenda Lawrence||Black; Michigan;
|Ideologically similar to Biden||1.49|
|New York Representative Nydia Velasquez||Latina;
28 years in House
|Alabama Representative Terri Sewell||Black;
10 years in House
|Alabama; Slightly right of Biden||1.38|
|California Representative Linda Sanchez||Latina;
14 years in House
|Former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis||Latina;
Out of federal office since 2013
|California Representative Karen Bass||Black;
This list includes 14 current House Members, seven Senators, a current mayor, a former Cabinet Secretary (Solis) and Abrams. Thirteen are Black, seven are White and four are Latina. Five are from California; three are from Florida, Georgia and New York; and two are from Michigan and Washington. Fifteen are between the ages of 46 and 66, while three are older than 70. Only seven are ideologically to the left of Biden, though only three are (slightly) to the right of Biden.
If you eliminate the three House Members over 70, the two first-term House Members, the two white women slightly to the right of Biden, as well as 66-year-old Karen Bass of California, 67-year-old Nydia Velasquez of New York and 69-year-old Patty Murray of Washington, you are left with 15luja solid candidates:
14. Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis
13. California Representative Linda Sanchez
12. Alabama Representative Terri Sewell
11. Michigan Representative Brenda Lawrence
10. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
9. Washington Senator Maria Cantwell
8. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren
7. Former Georgia State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams
6. New York Representative Yvette Clark
5. Florida Representative Val Demings
4. Ohio Representative Joyce Beatty
3. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
2. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin
1. California Senator Kamala Harris
Really, however, one choice jumps out from all the rest: Harris, the 55-year-old, Black/Asian progressive-voting Senator who ran a solid race for president, is broadly popular with the Democratic Party and has a wealth of criminal justice experience. Were she not from reliably-Democratic California—which, at the same time, would not cost Democrats a Senate seat—and had at least one full Senate term under her belt, she would be THE obvious choice.
That said, there are a number of excellent choices Biden could make, including familiar names like Warren, Abrams, Demings, Gillibrand and Baldwin, as well as sleeper choices like brilliant, black, 55-year-old, five-term Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama.
Meanwhile, consider who did not make this final cut—Klobuchar (0.97), Cortez Masto (0.50), Lujan Grisham (-0.09) and Whitmer (-1.80). It is unlikely any of these four women makes Biden’s short list; although reports suggest Lujan Grisham remains a leading contender, along with Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Demings, Harris, Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Warren.
Please feel free to quibble with my categories and/or assignation of points; I admit up front that much of the latter was arbitrary. With all that, however, Harris still comes out the best choice, by far, whatever way you choose to quantify and aggregate strengths and weaknesses.
Until next time…please stay safe and healthy…