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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump confirmed to reporters at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that he withheld almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, but claimed that he did so to force other European nations to contribute.

"I want other countries to put up money. I think it's unfair that we put up the money. Then people called me, they said 'Oh, let it go.' And I let it go. We paid the money. The money was paid. But very importantly, Germany, France, other countries should put up money. And that's been my complaint from the beginning."

Why it matters: The Washington Post first reported Monday night that Trump directed acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to withhold the aid at least a week before speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — a conversation in which Trump admitted to discussing Joe Biden and his son. The aid was later released after pressure from Republican senators.

  • The controversy has led to allegations that Trump may have extorted Ukraine into investigating a political opponent in exchange for military aid, prompting a renewed wave of calls for his impeachment among Democrats.
  • Trump has previously said that there was no "quid pro quo" involved in his conversation with Zelensky and that they largely discussed the issue of corruption in Ukraine.

Go deeper: Momentum builds among Dems for Trump impeachment

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.