Jul 2, 2019

EU leaders nominate Christine Lagarde to lead European Central Bank

Christine Lagarde. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After weeks of deadlock, 28 European heads of state have announced four nominees to fill the EU's top jobs, including International Monetary Fund chair Christine Lagarde to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Once again, a French national has the most powerful job in Europe. Lagarde has done an excellent job of leading the IMF, and she also ran the French Treasury with aplomb during and after the global financial crisis. She is not an economist, but she has the respect of markets.

  • The New York Times' Neil Irwin notes: "The important thing here is not that Lagarde will be more/less dovish than other candidates would've been, but that the ECB will be led by someone with real political clout."

Lagarde announced on Twitter that she would "temporarily relinquish" her responsibilities as IMF managing director during the nomination period. She would be the first female president of the ECB.

Full slate of nominees:

  • German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
  • Outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as European Council president.
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as high representative for foreign affairs.
  • IMF head Christine Lagarde as ECB president.

The big picture: The nomination was especially difficult this year due to the fractured parliament that resulted from May's European elections. The center-right and center-left establishment groups lost significant ground, leading many — including French President Emmanuel Macron — to argue that they no longer had a mandate to hoard Europe's top jobs.

What to watch: The European Parliament will now vote on the nominations, starting with von der Leyen as president. If confirmed, as expected, she would be the first woman to hold the EU's top job.

Go deeper: 6 key takeaways from the critical European elections

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health