Brian Snyder / AP

Concerns are brewing in conservative pro-Israel circles about the State Department hiring Michael Ratney, who was a senior U.S. diplomat in Jerusalem under John Kerry.

While Obama officials like former Obama ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk are praising Ratney's hire, influential conservatives in the pro-Israel community are ready to unleash a major outcry if he's retained. Here, for instance, is Arthur Schwartz linking to a Conservative Review piece:

Why did you tap this guy to run @StateDept's Israel / Palestinian portfolio, @Reince45? We won the election. Why hire @JohnKerry's guys? pic.twitter.com/nx56tZZ06k— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) March 10, 2017

Reached for comment, Schwartz, who is known to consult for the Zionist Organization of America, said he was only speaking for himself.

But Axios has learned that pro-Israel conservative figures are reaching out to the White House behind the scenes. If Ratney remains in the job, you can expect a number of public breaks with the administration.

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Updated 38 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it's too early to say whether next month's elections will be postponed after she announced Tuesday four people had tested positive for COVID-19 after no local cases for 102 days.

Zoom in: NZ's most populous city, Auckland, has gone on lockdown for 72 hours and the rest of the country is under lesser restrictions.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 20,188,678 — Total deaths: 738,668 — Total recoveries: 12,452,126Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 5,138,850 — Total deaths: 164,480 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.

Voters cast ballots in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Vermont

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Primary elections are being held on Tuesday in Minnesota, Georgia, Connecticut, Vermont and Wisconsin.

The big picture: Georgia and Wisconsin both struggled to hold primaries during the coronavirus pandemic, but are doing so again — testing their voting systems ahead of the general election. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is facing a strong challenger as she fights for her political career. In Georgia, a Republican primary runoff pits a QAnon supporter against a hardline conservative.