Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Tuesday that the White House coronavirus task force will hold an "active discussion" about broadening the use of medical masks to protect against coronavirus.

Why it matters: Such a guidance shift would be a huge change in messaging from the Trump administration, which initially advised against healthy people using masks.

  • Currently, only sick people and health care workers are advised to wear masks due to shortages of personal protective equipment.
  • Fauci also said that part of the administration's hesitation regarding broadening the guidance was ensuring that enough of a supply remains for at-risk populations, like health care workers.

What he's saying:

"When we get in a situation where we have enough masks, I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this recommendation of using masks. We're not there yet, but I think we're close to coming to some determination. Because if, in fact, a person who may or may not be infected wants to prevent infecting someone else, one of the best ways to do that is with a mask, so perhaps that's the way to go. And again, I say, Jim, that's under very active consideration. We'll be discussing it today, this afternoon, at the task force meeting."

The big picture: Scientists and researchers have suggested that the administration could post guidelines about creating do-it-yourself masks — such as a bandana or cloth over one's face — for asymptomatic people.

  • A report from the Washington Post out Tuesday cited internal CDC talks on possibly recommending the public use DIY cloth masks as protective gear.
  • Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "we should be putting out guidelines from the CDC on how you can develop a mask on your own.”

Go deeper: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Supreme Court rejects request to extend Wisconsin absentee ballot deadline

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected in a 5-3 decision Monday Wisconsin Democrats' request to reinstate an extension of the deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3.

Why it matters: All ballots must now be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in Wisconsin, a critical swing state in the presidential election.

Senate confirms Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court

Judge Amy Coney Barrett before a meeting on Capitol Hill on Oct. 21. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 52-48 on Monday to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. She is expected to be sworn in within hours.

Why it matters: President Trump and Senate Republicans have succeeded in confirming a third conservative justice in just four years, tilting the balance of the Supreme Court firmly to the right for perhaps a generation.