Sep 19, 2017

Gorka's new gig

Sebastian Gorka at the White House. Photo: Susan Walsh / AP

Sebastian Gorka has found a new home. It's called the "MAGA Coalition" — a new outside group to support political candidates that will "compete against globalist corporatists interests."

Little is known about the group. A source familiar with Gorka's arrangements tells me he's signing on as "chief strategist," the same title his former boss Steve Bannon held when the two worked together in the White House.

Gorka's first outing with the group: He's co-headlining a rally with Sarah Palin in Montgomery, Alabama on Thursday night. The Palin-Gorka rally will promote Roy Moore, the controversial anti-establishment candidate running against incumbent Sen. Luther Strange.

The MAGA Coalition is co-sponsoring the Palin-Gorka rally with Great America Alliance, the Bannon-aligned outside group.

Why this matters: Think about this. A month ago, Gorka and Steve Bannon were working in President Trump's White House. Now they are preparing to go head-to-head against the president to support a candidate who is loathed by the same establishment that originally loathed Trump.

The backdrop: Some of the noisiest elements of Trump's base — including Breitbart — view the Alabama contest as a flashpoint in their war against Mitch McConnell. Luther Strange is McConnell's chosen candidate and Trump has put his weight behind him, first with an endorsement, and now with plans to hold a rally in Alabama on Saturday night to give Strange a last minute boost before next Tuesday's election. Moore currently leads Strange by anywhere between 8 and 13 percentage points, according to independent polls.

Go deeper

Trump administration asks Congress for $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus

President Trump with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar at the White House in September. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Details: The request for a lump sum account for the Department of Health and Human Services includes $1.25 billion in new funds to fight COVID-19 and $535 would come from untouched funds for the Ebola virus.

WHO won't call coronavirus a pandemic as cases spread

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.

The World Health Organization will not yet call the coronavirus a pandemic, claiming that needs across affected countries are too varied and the classification would increase fear, per a briefing Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,620 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Taking precaution, in the Philippines. Photo: Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

The coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and the window to prevent a global pandemic is narrowing.

Zoom in: Here's a look at what comes with a coronavirus outbreak in communities outside China that have been hardest hit so far.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - World