Susan Walsh / AP

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster kicked off Sean Spicer's briefing Friday discuss Trump's upcoming foreign trip, stating the president will bring a "message of hope and tolerance" to the Middle East:

  • Afghanistan troop levels: "The president has not made a decision," said McMaster, adding "America First didn't mean America alone — ever."
  • The council's duties: "A lot of what we do at the National Security Council is trying to keep up with the President."
  • Trump on Russia: The president has made clear "he will confront Russian disruptive behavior" but is "also looking for areas of cooperation" with Moscow, said McMaster.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 18,359,053 — Total deaths: 695,709 — Total recoveries — 10,952,311Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 4,738,853 — Total deaths: 156,041 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — New York ER doctor on pandemic advice: "We know what works"
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll Atrium Health CEO says "virtual hospital" has treated 13,000 COVID patients.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
Updated 21 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. It's also unclear how many people were killed or wounded, but the Lebanese Red Cross has told AP that casualties number in the hundreds. Reuters reports that at least 10 people have been killed, citing security sources.

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.