Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

At last night's Alfalfa Club dinner — a black-tie cotillion for titans of government and business — physician and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist [corrected] pretended to give a grim, gloved medical exam to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The big picture: Don't worry. That's not the fun part. The dinner is off-camera and off the record, but a little bird tells me that former Secretary of State John Kerry, the outgoing Alfalfa president, had a patter that included these lines: "Donald Trump could be the first president to go to the inaugural of his successor in a limo with license plates made by his campaign manager."

  • "I watched the Oscar nominations a few days ago. And afterwards every single actor said what a great honor it was just to be nominated. ... Trust me: It’s not."
  • Roger Stone has "always been controversial. I remember when he got caught advertising for sex in bondage and swingers magazines. So, yesterday morning probably wasn’t the first time he started his day in handcuffs."

Go deeper: Check out the jokes from other Alfalfa dinners during the Trump administration...

Subscribe to Axios AM/PM for a daily rundown of what's new and why it matters, directly from Mike Allen.
Please enter a valid email.
Please enter a valid email.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Subscribed! Look for Axios AM and PM in your inbox tomorrow or read the latest Axios AM now.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
18 mins ago - Science

Pandemic scrambles Americans' acceptance of science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.

Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.

Spotify has a Joe Rogan dilemma

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Spotify is getting slammed for allowing Joe Rogan, one of its most popular podcasters, to host far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his show.

Why it matters: The company, which still distributes mostly music, will begin to encounter more of these types of problems as it expands its podcast business.

Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

In the final week before Election Day, new coronavirus infections have soared to an all-time high — virtually guaranteeing that the pandemic will be the most prominent issue in America as voters prepare to choose the next president.

The big picture: Cases are surging and local hospitals are straining at the very moment that voters are choosing between President Trump, who continues to insist that the pandemic is almost over, and Joe Biden, who has made the crisis a centerpiece of his campaign.