Mar 18, 2017

Melania: the stealth First Lady

Susan Walsh / AP

Although she hasn't entered into Washington politics, FLOTUS has been busy the past several weeks — suing for defamation, entertaining the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan and opening the White House for tours.

  • Reading to kids: A couple weeks ago, Melania visited a pediatrics hospital in New York to read to the children there.
  • Throwing a party: Melania hosted the first White House ball of the administration... during the Oscars. "Mrs. Trump looks forward to putting on a phenomenal event. And the first lady's put a lot of time into this event that's going to occur... and I have a feeling that that's where the president and the first lady are going to be focused on, on Sunday night," Sean Spicer told reporters before the event.
  • Michelle's gardens: A spokesperson for Melania announced last month, "As a mother and as the first lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House Gardens, specifically the First Lady's Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden."
  • White House tours: The First Lady also announced that the White House will open again for public tours. "The White House is a remarkable and historic site and we are excited to share its beauty and history," she said in a statement, although Donald did most of the welcoming.
  • Lawsuit #1: She resubmitted her defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail, who published a now-retracted article claiming Melania once worked for an escort service. Her lawyers changed some wording from the first lawsuit they filed because it sounded as if Melania was seeking to make money as First Lady. She's still requesting $150 million in damages.
  • Lawsuit #2: She settled another similar defamation suit last month against a blogger. Trump's lawyers have said the blogger agreed to pay a "substantial sum," according to CNN.
  • @FLOTUS: Melania has now tweeted 11 times, although she has yet to announce anything in regards to her promise during the campaign to fight bullying on social media.
  • One tweet was in response to being insulted by a NYT reporter: Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted that Jacob Bernstein called Melania a "hooker." The reporter was reprimanded and later apologized. Melania thanked Ratajkowski for standing up for her:
  • Mar-a-lago with the Abes: Melania joined her husband in Mar-a-lago to help host the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife...
Michael Ares / AP
  • The Israeli PM: Melania also helped host the Netanyahus...
Andrew Harnik / AP

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 857,487 — Total deaths: 42,107 — Total recoveries: 178,034.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 188,172 — Total deaths: 3,873 — Total recoveries: 7,024.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: President Trump said the next two weeks would be "very painful," with projections indicating the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: UN warns of recession with "no parallel" to recent past

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

The novel coronavirus pandemic is the "greatest test" the world has faced together since the formation of the United Nations just after the Second World War ended in 1945, UN chief António Guterres said Tuesday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 856,000 and the death toll exceeded 42,000 Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 12,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000–240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health