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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Carolyn Kaster / AP

When President Trump fired James Comey, Washington insiders immediately began speculating about the damage the former FBI director could inflict on Trump now that he's outside the tent.

Today, the first bomb dropped, and it's worse than some of the nightmare scenarios I was hearing friends of Trump speculate about over the weekend. According to the NYT, Trump urged Comey to shut down the federal investigation into Trump's former national security adviser, Mike Flynn. "I hope you can let this go," Trump said, according to a memo Comey wrote after their meeting.

There could be much more to come: Check out this insightful Slate podcast interview last week with the former FBI boss' longtime friend Benjamin Wittes. Stressing he had no inside knowledge of his friend's plans, Wittes predicted Comey would publicly tell his full story and probably in a congressional hearing.

"One of the problems that Trump created for himself in removing Jim Comey is that he dramatically increased the list of things that Jim Comey is now allowed to talk about."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Italy tightens COVID restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants

Health workers prepare vaccine doses in Iseo, Italy. Photo: Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.

2 hours ago - Health

Health care in the New Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As America emerges from the pandemic, here's a special Axios AM Deep Dive on the Biden administration's health care agenda.

2 hours ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

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