U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

When he needs to send a message to his foes, Mitch McConnell is the master of subtlety.

What I'm hearing: At the Republican Study Committee meeting this past week, RSC Chairman Mark Walker told members the following story, according to a source in the room and another source briefed on the conversation.

  • On April 17, Walker put out a press release attacking McConnell for opposing the White House’s plan to reverse some of the spending from the latest government funding bill. The release said McConnell cared more about his “backroom deal with Democrats” than about fiscal conservatism.
  • Three days later, Walker had a fundraiser with Mike Pence in North Carolina. Pence and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao flew down to join him.
  • On the tarmac, Chao said to Walker: "Do you know who I am married to?" Walker replied that yes, of course he knew. Then Chao said: "He wanted you to know that he reads everything you put out."
  • Walker gulped and said, “Understood.” And that was that.  

A Chao spokeswoman said: "We have nothing to add."

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Florida reports another daily record for coronavirus deaths

Nurse practitioner Barbara Corral and a research assistant conduct a COVID-19 vaccination study on August 7 in Hollywood, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida's health department on Tuesday reported 276 new coronavirus deaths, surpassing the state's record from July 31.

The big picture: The state also recorded over 5,800 new cases — on the low side for a state that is one of the domestic epicenters for the virus.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 20,126,452 — Total deaths: 737,285 — Total recoveries: 12,380,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,098,452 — Total deaths: 163,533 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: State testing plans fall short of demand — National Governors Association's bipartisan leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. World: New Zealand reports first local cases for 102 days — Why you should be skeptical of Russia's vaccine claims.

Exclusive: Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with "direct, meaningful ties" to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.