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Reproduced from Homebase; Chart: Axios Visuals 

President-elect Joe Biden is building an economic team to deal with a post-COVID economic free fall, and a jobs report coming out Friday — expected to show reduced hiring last month — is anticipated to give that group a preview of coming attractions.

Why it matters: Biden's economic advisers are worried any failure to inject money into the economy now will only multiply their challenges once they take office, but President Trump remains fixated on litigating his election loss.

Between the lines: Data from Homebase, which manages digital timecards for 100,000 small businesses and is monitored by Trump's Council of Economic Advisers, could show hiring down to pre-summer levels.

  • Biden's team has always contemplated the need for lame-duck stimulus but there has also been concern that it could crowd out his $3 trillion "Build Back Better" plan.
  • Many Democrats worry that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to any additional relief this month, he'll be hesitant to open the checkbook again next year.

But, but, but: Some Democrats close to Biden argue that the immediate dangers — from a potential eviction crisis to food insecurity — grow with every day of inaction.

  • While Biden fully endorsed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's stimulus effort this week, he said on CNN that it would just be a "start."
  • “We are going to need more,” he said. “I am going to have to ask for more.”

The bottom line: As in the beginning of the Obama administration, the Thursday nights before a jobs report will be tense in the White House. That is when Cecilia Rouse, Biden's choice to lead the Council of Economic Advisers, will give him a memo breaking down the next day's press release.

Go deeper

Emhoff highlights food insecurity on first outing as second gentleman

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (right) speaks with volunteers of the nonprofit Dreaming out Loud at a farm in Northeast Washington on his first solo outing. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris' husband Doug Emhoff used his first official outing as second gentleman Thursday to learn about and raise awareness for food insecurity, Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The farm that Emhoff visited at Washington, D.C.'s Kelly Miller Middle School has shifted its focus during the COVID-19 pandemic to help get food to people who are vulnerable to hunger. "Food security is a racial justice issue," said Christopher Bradshaw, executive director of Dreaming Out Loud, the nonprofit that runs the farm.

Former Defense Secretary Esper sues Pentagon over book

Former President Trump and former Defense Secretary Mark Esper at the White House in 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper filed a lawsuit Sunday against the Defense Department, accusing the Pentagon of "censoring" his First Amendment rights by redacting parts of his upcoming book on the Trump administration.

The big picture: Esper, who served as defense secretary from July 2019 until he was fired by then-President Trump in November last year, alleges in the suit that "significant text" is "being improperly withheld from publication" of the manuscript "under the guise of classification."

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday to not impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since spread to several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new variant.