Eduardo Verdugo / AP

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Dave Lapan confirmed to Axios that DHS tested a laptop bomb in an "aircraft frame while on the ground but pressurized" prior to the March announcement of the laptop ban for airlines and airports in the Middle East and North Africa. Lapan said the test happened in the Washington, D.C., region and that DHS had been in conversations with aviation stakeholders about the threat about a month before the test.

This comes after DHS Secretary John Kelly said at a Wednesday event with The Aspen Institute the test "destroyed the plane." Lapan said they also tested equipment and protocols.

Why it matters: The testing suggests, just as DHS said at the time of the laptop ban announcement, DHS had legitimate security reasons to implement enhanced security measures to prevent this kind of bomb from exploding in or over our country.

Note: The laptop ban is over now that every single airport and airline that was on the ban has had it lifted by implementing new security protocols compliant with DHS standards. That doesn't mean the threat is gone — it just means security measures are better equipped to deal with the threat. "180 airlines in 105 countries have successfully implemented the initial enhanced security measures," Lapan said.

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Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
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  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.