Updated Jun 11, 2018

How Trump’s G7 call for readmission could misfire for Russia

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Gregoire greet President Trump at the G7 meeting on June 8, 2018 in Quebec City. Photo: Leon Neal via Getty Images

The foreign ministers of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine met in Berlin today to take another stab at peace in Ukraine. The U.S. is not represented, but President Trump’s presence will likely be felt in ways that he didn’t intend — and that Vladimir Putin will not appreciate.

The big picture: President Trump’s suggestion that Russia be re-invited to meetings between the leading Western democracies got this year’s G7 summit in Quebec off to a tumultuous start. Like his previous attempts to improve relations with Putin, Trump’s latest diplomatic effort was so ham-handed that it will likely make international cooperation more fraught, even for Russia.

If the idea was to bring Putin back into the club, then Trump’s effort was an immediate failure. All it got him was a reminder from the other leaders about why Russia was kicked out in the first place: its aggression against Ukraine.

The impact: With his abrupt and imperious call to bring Putin back into the diplomatic fold, Trump has made European leaders who might be formulating their own overtures to Moscow look as though they’re taking orders from a deeply unpopular American president. Putin will now find it harder to patch things up with Europe, put the Ukraine issue behind him and get back into the club. Across Europe, pro-Putin populist parties find themselves associated with a tarnished brand.

Stephen Sestanovich is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, professor of international diplomacy at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and author of “Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama.”

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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 detailed plans at a news briefing Tuesday to turn buildings and facilities into makeshift hospitals across the Big Apple — including U.S. open tennis courts.

The big picture: New York City now accounts for a quarter of all deaths from the novel coronavirus 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. Officials need to triple that number in the coming weeks.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 859,556 — Total deaths: 42,332 — Total recoveries: 178,300.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 189,510 — Total deaths: 4,076 — 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.

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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.

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