Photo by Ken Cedeno-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) told the Houston Chronicle that President Trump "let his guard down" when it came to the coronavirus and has created "confusion" by trying to downplay the severity of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Cornyn is a high-ranking Republican senator who is closely aligned with Trump and has rarely criticized the president. Cornyn is in a tighter-than-expected re-election race against Air Force pilot and Democrat MJ Hegar.

What he's saying: “I think he let his guard down, and I think in his desire to try to demonstrate that we are somehow coming out of this and that the danger is not still with us — I think he got out over his skis and frankly, I think it’s a lesson to all of us that we need to exercise self discipline,” Cornyn said.

  • “He tries to balance that with saying, ‘Well you know, we got this.’ And clearly we don’t have this."
  • "I think the biggest mistake people make in public life is not telling the truth, particularly in something with as much public interest as here because you know the real story is going to come out.”

Cornyn told the Chronicle that "on the main" Trump has been good for the U.S. but that he has so far tried to avoid public disputes with the president. "[I]t is not easy to try to get things done working with him or the White House," Cornyn said.

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month Putin mandates face masks.
9 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus testing is a windfall

Expand chart
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

The sustained coronavirus pandemic is leading to especially large windfalls for labs and companies that make the materials used for testing.

The big picture: Detecting widespread infection and helping set up clinical trials isn't free, and the botched federal response will keep demand for these supplies high for a long time.

10 hours ago - Health

Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coronavirus hospitalizations are rising much more dramatically in places that don’t require people to wear a face mask, according to a new Vanderbilt University analysis.

The big picture: The findings reinforce what experts have been saying for months: Masks — and mask mandates — work. They will not vanquish the coronavirus on their own, but they help. A lot.