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

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Photo: Aeme Jennings/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CBS News Radio on Friday that the "data speak for themselves," there was "a superspreader event at the White House."

Driving the news: Several people who attended the White House's Rose Garden celebration for the introduction of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have tested positive for the coronavirus, including President Trump. Photos and video from the event show that few in attendance wore masks.

  • The White House has been criticized for its response to the outbreak.
  • It did not respond to a request for comment.

What he's saying: “It was in a situation where people were crowded together and were not wearing masks,” Fauci said, appearing to refer to the Rose Garden event.

  • When asked what he thought about those who criticize him for initially saying masks were not required for all individuals, Fauci said, “I just think they’re not understanding the evolving amount of knowledge that occurs when you have an evolving situation like an outbreak. We’ve explained that multiple times.”
  • "The better part of the recommendation would be, everybody should wear a mask, literally, universally."

The bottom line: "The White House — despite its infinite access to the best resources available — continues to respond to its own coronavirus outbreak about as recklessly as possible," Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.

Go deeper: Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Go deeper

L.A. becomes first county to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases

COVID-19 mass-vaccination of healthcare workers takes place at Dodger Stadium. Photo: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Los Angeles County officials said Saturday they had detected the county's first case of the highly transmissible coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

Why it matters: The announcement came as L.A. became the first county to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, straining the area's already overwhelmed health care system.

U.S. ambassador to Russia will return home briefly: State Department

John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador to Russia, during a briefing in Moscow in 2015. Photo: Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS via Getty Images

The State Department said Monday that the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Sullivan, will now be returning to the United States this week before returning to Moscow "in the coming weeks."

Why this matters: The statement, from a State Department spokesperson, comes just hours after Axios reported that Sullivan had indicated he intended to stand his ground and stay in Russia after the Kremlin “advised” him to return home to talk with his team.

Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits a military exposition in Sevastopol, Crimea, in Jan. 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia has been holding last-minute military exercises near commercial shipping lanes in the Black Sea that threaten to strangle Ukraine's economy, according to an internal document from Ukraine's ministry of defense reviewed by Axios.

Why it matters: With the eyes of the world on the massive buildup of troops in eastern Ukraine, the leaked memo shows Russian forces escalating their presence on all sides of the Ukrainian border.

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