Jan 23, 2017

Highlights from Spicer's first press briefing

Pablo Martinex Monsivais / AP

Spicer gave no answers when asked repeatedly about an embassy move to Jerusalem; told the press corps that his intention was never to lie to them; and dodged a slew of policy questions by saying he wouldn't get ahead of Trump. He sees a SCOTUS nomination within a few weeks and announced creation of four new "Skype seats" in the briefing room for media organizations based outside of D.C.

The other main takeaways are below the jump.

  1. Inauguration crowd size: It was "the most watched inaugural" both in person and around the globe. "It's not just about a crowd size... There is this constant theme to undercut the tremendous support he has."
  2. Condemned congressional Democrats on pace of voting for Cabinet nominees. At this point, 2 nominees have been confirmed, compared to 7 on Obama's first day in office.
  3. Trump will work with any country to defeat ISIS — including Moscow.
  4. On tweet that Trump removed MLK bust from the Oval Office: That was a "racially charged" statement that was created by the media.
  5. Documented evidence of Trump resigning from his businesses? Diverted question to Hope Hicks, who said it's "not public at this time."
  6. Did the media invent the feud between Trump and the intelligence community? Spicer said the CIA were "clapping" and "cheering" when Trump visited Saturday — it's all untrue.
  7. Mexico City policy: Trump respects both the unborn and U.S. taxpayers.
  8. Trump will not put troops in Iraq to "take the oil," but he also won't reveal or commit to any military plans.
  9. Trump spoke with Egyptian President Sisi today. Said he favors a bilateral relationship with Egypt, and has pledged assistance for anti-terrorism efforts.
  10. Obamacare mandate: "We have a mandate to make health care more accessible and lower cost... It's not a question about a mandate... It's about doing the right thing."
  11. Trump will reconvene with his CEO advisory in a month, meeting on a quarterly basis. The president will meet with union people at 3pm to discuss work agenda.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 a.m. ET: 859,796 — Total deaths: 42,332 — Total recoveries: 178,300.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 a.m. ET: 189,618 — Total deaths: 4,079 — Total recoveries: 7,109.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. Coronavirus in custody: Inmates in all U.S. federal prisons are set to enter a 14-day quarantine on April 1. A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 while in confinement.
  7. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  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.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

NYC races to build field hospitals as coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces at the USTA Bille Jean King tennis center that the venue will be transformed into a 350-bed temporary hospital. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference Tuesday of plans to triple hospital bed numbers to combat the novel coronavirus by transforming facilities into makeshift hospitals — including U.S. Open tennis courts.

The big picture: The city now accounts for a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. — more than 1,000 as of Wednesday morning. De Blasio said the city had "about 20,000 working hospital beds in our major hospitals" before the outbreak. "We now need to, in just the next weeks ... produce three times that number," he said.

Go deeperArrow24 mins ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 4,000

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

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 4,000 people in the U.S. — with over 1,000 deaths reported in New York City alone, per Johns Hopkins data. The number of deaths are still much lower than those reported in Italy, Spain and China.

Of note: Hours earlier, President Trump noted it's "going to be a very painful two weeks," with projections indicating the novel coronavirus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place. "They are going to be facing a war zone," he said of medical workers.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health