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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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HHS Secretary Alex Azar testifies on the agency's FY2021 budget on Feb. 27. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Ron Wyden, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, told Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Friday that he was alarmed by a whistleblower's recent allegations that federal personnel received U.S. evacuees from the coronavirus outbreak in China without adequate protective gear or training.

Driving the news: Vice President Mike Pence replaced Azar as the administration's point person for handling the coronavirus this week.

What he's saying: Wyden, in a Friday letter, said "it is particularly concerning that ACF human services personnel, with limited or no public health or health care background, were sent to quarantine sites without guidance, training, or information."

  • He asked Azar for details on HHS protocols for deploying medical and agency personnel to quarantine centers that readmit U.S. citizens and whether the agency is ensuring that all HHS employees potentially exposed to the coronavirus are being tested for it.
  • HHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Flashback: Democratic 2020 contenders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have denounced President Trump's response to the crisis and his budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control.

Read Wyden's full letter:

Go deeper... Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Defense Sec. Austin stresses U.S. commitment to Israel's security amid growing Iran tensions

Issei Kato/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin arrived for his first visit in Jerusalem amid nuclear talks in Vienna and growing tensions between Israel and Iran.

Why it matters: Austin met his counterpart Benny Gantz and will meet later with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss Iran and regional security issues.

"I was horrified": Leaders respond to footage of Black and Latino Army officer threatened at traffic stop

An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

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