May 28, 2019

Kushner on Middle East tour ahead of peace rollout

Jared Kushner and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem in 2017. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

President Trump's senior adviser Jared Kushner, the head of the White House's Israeli-Palestinian peace team, traveled to the Middle East on Monday night on a visit to Morocco, Jordan and Israel, a senior White House official told me.

Why it matters: Kushner will arrive in Israel on Thursday, meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the tail end of a coalition crisis that could lead to new elections. Netanyahu's deadline for forming a new government is set to expire on Wednesday night, and new elections in Israel could be yet another hurdle for the Trump administration's peace plan.

  • Trump jumped into the coalition crisis over the weekend when he tweeted in support of Netanyahu's efforts to form a new coalition. An hour later Netanyahu used Trump's tweet to publicly slam his political opponent former Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, putting public pressure on him to join the coalition.

Details: Kushner arrived in Rabat Tuesday morning and will meet with senior Moroccan officials. On Wednesday, Kushner will arrive in Amman and meet Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss Jordanian participation in the U.S.-led Bahrain conference next month, which will launch the economic part of the White House peace plan. The Palestinians are pushing the Jordanians to boycott the conference.

  • Jason Greenblatt, the White House's special envoy for Middle East peace, and Brian Hook, the State Department's Iran envoy, are also joining Kushner on the trip.

Go deeper: The only Palestinian RSVP to the White House's Bahrain conference so far

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,192,028 — Total deaths: 64,316 — Total recoveries: 245,949Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 301,902 — Total deaths: 8,291 — Total recoveries: 14,520Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. 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.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 8,200, case count tops 300,000

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

Recorded deaths from the coronavirus surpassed 8,100 in the U.S. on Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. The death toll in the U.S. has risen over 1,000 every day for the past four days, since April 1.

The big picture: Trump said Saturday that America's "toughest week" is ahead. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the country should expect to see deaths continue to increase in the next week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

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

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday. The global death toll has surpassed 62,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health