Sep 26, 2018

Trump administration maintains Chinese meddling, but offers no evidence

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

China has been employing a "whole of government approach" to influence America's "political system," a senior administration official told reporters during a briefing Wednesday. The briefing comes after President Trump told the UN Security Council that China is currently trying to meddle in U.S. elections.

Why it matters: Trump's national security advisor John Bolton has previously said the government is concerned about Chinese interference in U.S. elections, but the administration has not yet provided specific evidence of direct tampering or misinformation campaigns of the sort Russia pursued in 2016.

The details: The official said China is making a "coordinated" and "covert" attempt to "actively interfere" in America's political system. The official then listed some examples:

  • The official said China is purposefully targeting certain districts and states, like those with farmers or Trump voters, with tariffs.
  • "China punishes or rewards businessmen, think tanks, movie studios, journalists, religious leaders and even candidates depending on if they criticize or support Chinese policies."
  • "China spends billions on propaganda throughout the world."
  • He cited "intimidation" tactics, including "cyberbullying" and "threatening phone calls."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 786,291 — Total deaths: 37,820 — Total recoveries: 166,088.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 164,620 — Total deaths: 3,170— Total recoveries: 5,943.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  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: World Bank warns economic pain unavoidable

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 has caused a "global shock" and significant economic pain "seems unavoidable in all countries," the World Bank said in an economic update for
East Asia and the Pacific on Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 786,000 and the death toll exceeded 37,800 early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 3,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 3,000 late Monday.

The state of play: There were more than 164,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. early Tuesday — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. The COVID-19 death toll stood at 3,170. The number of recoveries had risen to more than 5,900.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health