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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Thursday called for the White House to dissolve its coronavirus task force so that health officials like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx are prevented from contradicting many of President Trump’s "stated goals and actions" when it comes to the economy.

Why it matters: Maricopa County, part of which Biggs represents, has seen record-breaking spikes in coronavirus cases recently, with more than 52,000 total cases and 817 deaths — the highest in the state.

  • Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, warned in congressional testimony this week that he would "not be surprised" if the U.S. begins reporting as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.
  • "I'm very concerned and not satisfied with what's going on because we're going in the wrong direction," Fauci testified.

What they're saying:

"As our economy is restored, it is imperative that President Trump is not undermined in his mission to return our economy to greatness. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump’s stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the COVID-19 outbreak."
This is causing panic that compromises our economic recovery. We can protect our most vulnerable from the COVID-19 outbreak while still protecting lives and livelihoods of the rest of the population. It’s time for the COVID-19 task force to be disbanded so that President Trump’s message is not mitigated or distorted.”
— Rep. Andy Biggs

The big picture: New applications for unemployment remain historically high, even as weekly jobless claims continue to slowly level off. Many economists fear that the recovery will be stunted if coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket.

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases flat or growing in 48 states

Go deeper

Updated 23 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Trump says he's off coronavirus treatment medication

President Trump said he has been off coronavirus medication for at least eight hours, in his first televised event since his hospitalization for treatment of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Trump claimed on Fox News that he went to Walter Reed Medical Center because he felt tired and denied that he received supplemental oxygen because he had trouble breathing. White House physician Sean Conley said last week that the president received oxygen after his oxygen saturation level dropped below 94%.

Updated Oct 10, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Lindsey Graham refuses to take COVID test for Senate debate in SC

Graham talks with reporters in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) refused to take a COVID-19 test as demanded by his Democratic challenger, Jaime Harrison, forcing organizers of Friday's U.S. Senate debate to change the format at the last minute.

Why it matters: If Graham were to test positive for the virus it could delay confirmation hearings on Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.