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Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told NBC's "Today" Monday that a projection of 100,000–200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."

Why it matters: Birx said she is unsure that people are following the guidelines and cited images circulating online of people around the world congregating in large groups.

What she's saying: "Cities that don't social distance, that don't stay at home, that believe you can have social interactions, that believe you can have gatherings at home of 20 and 10 people even — that is going to spread the virus, even if everyone looks well," Birx said.

The big picture: The U.S. has reported more than 143,000 cases and 2,500 fatalities from the coronavirus as of Monday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Go deeper: Fauci says Trump backed off Easter reopening after seeing coronavirus projections

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Health

Moderna exec says children could be vaccinated by mid-2021

Tal Zaks, chief medical officer of Moderna, tells "Axios on HBO" that a COVID-19 vaccine could be available for children by the middle of next year.

Be smart: There will be a coronavirus vaccine for adults long before there is one for kids.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to return to campaign trail after 2nd negative test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Monday that she "looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail" after testing negative for COVID-19 for a second time, following earlier conflicting results.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Key government agency says Biden transition can formally begin

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy. Photo: Alex Edelman/CNP/Getty Images

General Services Administrator Emily Murphy said in a letter to President-elect Joe Biden on Monday that she has determined the transition from the Trump administration can formally begin.

Why it matters: Murphy, a Trump appointee, had come under fire for delaying the so-called "ascertainment" and withholding the funds and information needed for the transition to begin while Trump's legal challenges played out.