Apr 21, 2017

Key takeaways from Spicer's Friday briefing

Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Spicer started today's off-camera briefing by describing how "extremely pleased" Trump is to have successfully negotiated the release of Aya Hijazi and the other humanitarian workers who were held in Egypt — something Obama was unable to do. Other takeaways:

  • Government shutdown: Spicer revealed that OMB has ordered federal agencies to submit plans for a government shutdown — a routine step. Added that the administration "remains confident that we are not going to have a shutdown."
  • Healthcare reform: "It will get done when we feel like we've got the votes... if we can get it done next week, great."
  • Funding on border wall: "I don't know that it's a sticking point, but it's a priority."
  • French election: "No," Trump doesn't have a preferred candidate in the French election, said Spicer.

One fun thing: Spicer said that the White House press are welcome to bring their kids to work next Thursday in honor of the "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day."

Go deeper

The long journey to herd immunity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sought-after state of herd immunity — in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease — is complicated by open questions about the effectiveness of a future vaccine and how COVID-19 spreads.

Why it matters: Unless a sufficient level of immunity is achieved in the population, the coronavirus could circulate indefinitely and potentially flare up as future outbreaks.

Judge rules all three defendants in shooting of Ahmaud Arbery will stand trial

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A judge ruled on Thursday that all three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed in February Glynn County, Georgia, will stand trial, AP reports.

Why it matters: The video of Arbery's death was among several catalysts in the mass protests against racial injustice that have unfurled across the country and world over the past week and a half.

Remembering George Floyd

Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

With politicians, clergy and law enforcement in attendance on Thursday in Minneapolis, the family of George Floyd demanded recognition for his life well lived.

Why it matters: Floyd has become the latest symbol of police brutality after he was killed last week when a police officer held a knee to his neck.