May 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi and McConnell reject additional coronavirus tests for Congress

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majorty Leader Mitch McConnell shake hands in Washington in March. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday declined the Trump administration's offer to provide additional coronavirus tests to Congress.

Driving the news: Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tweeted late Friday that the agency would send three Abbott point of care machines and 1,000 coronavirus tests for the Senate's use, after the Capitol's attending physician said he did not have enough equipment for widespread testing of all senators.

What they're saying: “Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities to Capitol Hill, but we respectfully decline the offer at this time.  Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide, and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly."

  • “Consistent with CDC guidelines, Congress will use the current testing protocols that the Office of the Attending Physician has put in place until these speedier technologies become more widely available," Pelosi and McConnell said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Go deeper: Capitol physician says he doesn't have enough tests for all senators

Go deeper

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.