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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Republicans are increasingly concerned not only about President Trump’s daily briefings but also his broader plan to ease the nation out of the virus crisis and back to work. This concern is acute — and spreading. 

Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

  • Some think he has only weeks to figure it out. The consequences of failure would be a November defeat, some warn. 

Trump built his re-election pitch on the idea the U.S. has seen historic prosperity under his leadership, but now the economy is in shambles.

  • "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets re-elected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Fed board, told Axios.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh, a former Indiana congressman and ally of Vice President Pence, says not enough attention is being paid to the post-virus economy.

  • "I don't think [Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin] has yet started thinking about that long-term, how do we incentivize the rapid recovery or the V-shape bounce back?" he told Axios.
  • "I understand their planning process, to deal with emergency, but now it's time to start thinking of the exit strategy."

Some Trump aides and Republican lawmakers increasingly believe his daily briefings are hurting him more than helping, "and are urging him to let his medical experts take center stage," the N.Y. Times reports.

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Trump "sometimes drowns out his own message," and told him "a once-a-week show" could be more effective.

The conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page hit him yesterday with "Trump’s Wasted Briefings," saying they often deteriorate "into a dispiriting brawl between the president and his antagonists in the White House press corps":

Every reporter knows the way to get a TV moment, and get a pat on the back from newsroom pals, is to bait Mr. Trump with a question about his previous statements or about criticism that someone has leveled against him. Mr. Trump always takes the bait.

🐦 Trump took the bait, tweeting:

  • "The Wall Street Journal always 'forgets' to mention that the ratings for the White House Press Briefings are 'through the roof' ... & is only way for me to escape the Fake News & get my views across. WSJ is Fake News!"

What's next: Trump, increasingly frustrated with the pandemic's bite on the economy, is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on economic recovery.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
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Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow.