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Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

If President Trump follows through on his statements that he wants to "open" the U.S. up again, an already patchwork shield of state "stay at home" orders could look like even more of a patchwork.

The big picture: As of Wednesday night, just 21 states have ordered people to stay at home, and most of those are states with Democratic governors. Only six — Ohio, Indiana, Idaho, West Virginia, Massachusetts and Vermont — have Republican governors.

  • If Trump declares it's time to start getting back to normal, those GOP governors could face pressure to start easing their own social restrictions, too.
  • That doesn't mean they'll do it, but the political pressure will intensify every time Trump talks about the importance of restarting the economy. And it could become even less likely that other Republican governors will impose stay-at-home orders of their own.

Between the lines: Some Republican governors, like Greg Abbott of Texas, have resisted calls to issue statewide stay-at-home orders, leaving it to cities and counties to issue their own restrictions.

  • Not all Democratic governors have ordered statewide restrictions, either. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, for example, issued a stay-at-home order for people in the hardest-hit areas, but not for the whole state.
  • There are 26 Republican governors and 24 Democratic governors — and seven Republicans are up for re-election, compared to four Democrats.

The bottom line: The "mitigation strategy" of social distancing urged by health experts has been uneven throughout the U.S. — and it's likely to get more uneven.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that Massachusetts has a Republican governor, not a Democratic governor.

Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.