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Results from the runoff for the House seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, where Karen Handel (R) has defeated Jon Ossoff (D):

Key takeaways:

  • This was the most expensive House race in history, and it was a true toss-up coming into election day. The district typically votes Republican, but Democrats were desperate to gain their first high-profile victory of the Trump era.
  • The Trump factor: This race was billed as a referendum on Trump, and the president intervened with tweets blasting Ossoff for living outside the district, but Handel tried to steer clear of Trump for the most part.
  • Our thought bubble: Yes, this is a Republican district, but this is still a big loss for the Dems. They pulled out all the stops here, and had historic fundraising and a historically unpopular president going for them, and still fell short.

Reactions:Trump Tweets: "Thank you @FoxNews 'Huge win for President Trump and GOP in Georgia Congressional Special Election.'" Later — "Congratulations to Karen Handel on her big win in Georgia 6th. Fantastic job, we are all very proud of you!"Kellyanne Conway piles on: "Laughing my #Ossoff," later — @karenhandel thanks for standing strong, for running on issues, for being a grownup and for living in the district. Welcome to Congress."Ossoff concedes: "The fight goes on. Hope is still alive."Handel speaks: She offered a "special thanks to the President of the United States of America" and said the shooting in Virginia last week showed political discourse in the U.S. needs to change.Paul Ryan congratulates: "Democrats from coast to coast threw everything they had at this race but Karen would not be defeated."Elsewhere:Republican Ralph Norman beat Democrat Archie Parnell in the race for Budget Director Mick Mulvaney's South Carolina House seat — but by a much closer than expected 3.2%.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

9 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

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