Nov 8, 2017

How the White House is trying to spin the 2017 elections

Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The White House has decided Democrats' sweeping wins against Republicans last night was no big feat and that it was, in part, Ed Gillespie's fault, according to talking points sent from a senior White House official to their communications team.

"Gillespie's wavering support for the President resulted in depressed turnout among Republicans," the email read. "If the Gillespie campaign embraced the President anywhere, it was in SW Virginia. And, look what happened: SW Virginia significantly over-performed for Republicans relative to 2013."

More from the White House talking points obtained by Axios:

  • Tax reform is the continued focus. Mayor John Curtis won the House seat formerly held by Jason Chaffetz, which the White House argues will give Republicans "another vote for tax reform — and that vote in Congress is what matters most."
  • As for the 14 Democrats who won House Delegates seats in Virginia, the White House says that's just history repeating itself. "Look at the eerie similarities between the outcomes of these states' elections in 2009 (Obama first term) and 2017 (Trump first term) - the opposite party makes gains."
  • "History was always against Republicans in two states that have not voted for a Republican Presidential nominee since 2004 and 1988, respectively," the email read, referring to Virginia and New Jersey.

Go deeper: Meet the new generation of Democrats that emerged one year after Trump.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Chicago jail is largest-known source of coronavirus

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

Chicago's Cook County jail is the largest-known source of coronavirus infections in the U.S., the New York Times reports. The White House has identified Chicago's metro area as a risk for exponential growth of the virus.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 45 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,504,971 — Total deaths: 87,984 — Total recoveries: 318,068Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 424,945 — Total deaths: 14,529 — Total recoveries: 23,292Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business update: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World update: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment update: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers 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.

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health