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The Trump administration is asking construction companies to donate their inventories of face masks to local hospitals and forgo ordering more due to a global shortage in response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Health care workers are experiencing a shortage of N95 fitted masks, a necessary tool to prevent healthy people from getting sick because they help block 95% of microbes. Construction workers often use face masks at work, and the White House has deemed those industrial masks "perfectly acceptable" for health care workers.

By the numbers: Currently, the U.S. has about 160,000 ventilators. In a "severe" pandemic like the Spanish flu of 1918, the country would need about 740,000, per a study by the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins.

What Vice President Mike Pence is saying:

"We would make one specific request, and that is we would urge construction companies to donate their inventory of N95 masks to your local hospital and forgo additional orders of those industrial masks. Because of what the president asked to be included in legislation moving through the Congress today, those industrial masks that they use on construction sites are perfectly acceptable for health care workers to be protected from a respiratory disease.
"We are asking construction companies that our president knows very well from his background. We are asking them to donate their N95 masks to their local hospitals and also forgo making additional orders."

Go deeper: EBay blocks sale of some health supplies in response to coronavirus fears

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Wall Street braces for more turbulence ahead of Election Day

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Wall Street is digging in for a potentially rocky period as Election Day gets closer.

Why it matters: Investors are facing a "three-headed monster," Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, tells Axios — a worsening pandemic, an economic stimulus package in limbo, and an imminent election.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

How Biden might tackle the Iran deal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Four more years of President Trump would almost certainly kill the Iran nuclear deal — but the election of Joe Biden wouldn’t necessarily save it.

The big picture: Rescuing the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is near the top of Biden's foreign policy priority list. He says he'd re-enter the deal once Iran returns to compliance, and use it as the basis on which to negotiate a broader and longer-lasting deal with Iran.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.