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Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump's official Friday schedule omitted a planned visit to CDC headquarters in Atlanta amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, though the trip was later put back on his itinerary — but not before the White House and the president offered contradictory explanations for its initial cancellation.

The state of play: The White House issued a statement on Friday morning that Trump did not "want to interfere with the CDC’s mission," while the president later told reporters that somebody at the CDC was suspected to have the virus but had ultimately tested negative.

  • What the White House said: "The CDC has been proactive and prepared since the very beginning and the president does not want to interfere with the CDC’s mission to protect the health and welfare of their people and the agency."
  • What Trump said: "They thought there was a problem with CDC with somebody who had the virus. It turned out negative, so we’re seeing if we can do it. ... So I may be going. We’re going to see if they can turn it around."

The big picture: The visit is planned to take place between Trump's stops in Nashville, Tenn., where he will tour tornado damage and visit victims, and Florida, where he'll spend the weekend at Mar-a-Lago.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
6 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
57 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

1 hour ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.