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.

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An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

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  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse. The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals. 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

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