Updated Aug 14, 2018

HHS agency removed staff directory ahead of family separation crisis

ORR Director Scott Lloyd. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

On October 23, 2017, Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement removed an entire webpage that contained detailed contact information for 22 different staffers, including ORR Director Scott Lloyd, according to a Web Integrity Project investigation and confirmed by HHS.

Why it matters: ORR is the agency that is responsible for caring for the separated migrant children following the implementation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "zero-tolerance" policy, which sparked international outrage. Although HHS claims there is no correlation, family separations began as early as October 2017, according to the New York Times — around the time the website was modified.

  • The ORR "About" page now links to a general media contact email instead of linking to the full contact page it had previously listed.

HHS response: Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokesperson, told Axios that ORR’s modification was part of an overall update by it’s umbrella agency, the Administration for Children and Families. “Any suggestions that there was a correlation between this action and the ‘zero tolerance’ policy would be totally inaccurate,“ she said.

Yes, but: WPI points out in its report that other ACF offices, including the Office of Community Services, have kept specific contact information for federal staff readily available on their websites.

The bottom line: Whether or not the change was made with family separation in mind, ORR at the very least made its employees less readily accessible to the public and the media.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

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 and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes carrying protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 930,000 and the global death toll exceeded 46,000 on Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 13,000 deaths.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. 1 future thing: Shifts to telemedicine, at-home diagnostics, and drone delivery are all likely lasting consequences from this pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases surpass 200,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Positive cases of the novel coronavirus passed 213,000 on Wednesday — nearly twice as many as Italy, per Johns Hopkins — as more state governors issued stay-at-home orders for Americans to curb infection.

The state of play: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the Washington Post reports.

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