Jan 7, 2018

Another potential White House loss

Porter walks with Trump, followed by Sen. Mike Lee. Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

Three sources with direct knowledge tell me White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter — regarded as one of the biggest brains in the building — has received overtures from major companies and organizations wanting to poach him from the Trump administration.

I'm told Porter has not yet seriously entertained an offer, and has made no decisions about his future. Top White House officials are keen to keep him in the building.

Porter has expressed an interest in playing a larger role in coordinating policy throughout the Trump administration.

  • Policymaking roles and responsibilities have been fractured across the administration thus far.
  • The most powerful policymaking group has been Gary Cohn's National Economic Council, and sources tell me the recent resignation of Cohn's deputy Jeremy Katz has been a bigger blow to the administration than many realize.
  • White House officials say the Domestic Policy Council, led by Andrew Bremberg, has been less effective. Bremberg's deputy Paul Winfree recently quit.

Porter is rare in the sense that he's close to people on both sides of the White House policy debate — he has a close working relationship with both Gary Cohn and Stephen Miller, for example. He's a lawyer with strong Capitol Hill connections and helps General Kelly control the paper flow to Trump's desk. Porter also presides over the weekly trade policy meetings in the Roosevelt Room.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health