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Fiona Hill speaks during the CITIZEN by CNN 2020 Conference on Tuesday. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for CNN

Former top White House Russia adviser Fiona Hill said Tuesday the "bungled handling of COVID," race relations, "political polarization" and the "spectacles that we're presenting" have eroded the United States' world standing.

What she’s saying: "We are increasingly seen as an object of pity, including by our allies, because they are so shocked by what's happening internally, how we're [eating] ourselves alive with our divisions," Hill told CNN's Jim Sciutto at the Citizen by CNN 2020 conference.

  • "We're the ones who are creating all this. It's not the Russians or the Chinese or anyone else. We are doing this to ourselves."

The big picture: A Pew Research Center poll found last week that positive views of the U.S. are at record lows, driven by the nation's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The U.S. has reported more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country, per Johns Hopkins.
  • The death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 200,000 in the U.S. on Tuesday. Almost 6.9 million Americans have tested positive for the virus.

Of note: Hill testified in the House last year during Trump's impeachment hearing that an ongoing conspiracy theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election distracted Trump from the real threat that Russia poses to America's democracy.

Go deeper

Aug 22, 2019 - World

Russian interference, 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are at each other's throats. Politically, socially and culturally, we suspect each other's motives and plain sanity. So certain are we of the other's intent to do the nation harm, some of us have joined political gangs and assaulted one another, resulting in at least 1 death.

Which is to say: Americans have played into Russian President Vladimir Putin's hands — again. It is assumed he can attack next year's elections if he so chooses, but since no outsider knows exactly how, what comes next is one of the great underlying mystery-dramas of the 2020 election campaign.

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Updated 4 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while other portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.

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