J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Friday he would consider an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) so long as it strengthened the President's hand. He warned that Obama's requests for new AUMFs were too "restrictive" since they would have limited future executive action:

I would be interested in taking a look at an AUMF if the president feels like he needs it…if it strengthens his hand.

Why it matters: Some Senators are saying the 2001 Bush-era AUMF doesn't give Trump the authority to escalate beyond airstrikes in Syria.

On the airstrikes: McConnell added he is generally supportive of the strikes Trump carried out in Syria: "I think the president had the authority to do what he did and I'm glad he did it," adding, "The Russians are not our friends."

On solutions:

  • For Syrian refugees: McConnell wouldn't comment on whether Trump should let refugees into the U.S., but said it would be beneficial to create a safe zone in Syria, "which would require some military action…so people don't feel like they have to run for their lives."
  • For dealing with Assad: "I don't see how there can possibly be any settlement in Syria that includes Bashar al-Assad."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 20,532,835 — Total deaths: 747,845— Total recoveries: 12,743,275Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 p.m. ET: 5,193,266 — Total deaths: 165,934 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
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  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
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  6. Education: New Jersey governor allows schools to reopenGallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
Updated 41 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

France reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours — the largest single-day number since May. French officials said the situation was "clearly worsening," per France 24.

By the numbers: Over 745,600 people have died of the novel coronavirus globally and over 20.4 million have tested positive, per Johns Hopkins. Almost 12.7 million have recovered from the virus.

53 mins ago - Health

U.S. reports 1,485 coronavirus deaths in a single day

Healthcare workers handling coronavirus tests in Los Angeles on August 11. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The U.S. reported 1,485 deaths due to the coronavirus on Wednesday, COVID Tracking Project data shows.

Why it matters: It's the highest single-day COVID-19 death toll since May 15, when the country reported 1,507 deaths. The U.S. has seen a total of 157,758 deaths from the virus.