Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told Chuck Todd on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that President Trump would be willing to "give up a concrete wall, replace it with a steel fence" at the U.S.-Mexico border in order to appease Democrats and end the government shutdown.

Background: While Trump floated his own "totally effective" and "beautiful" steel version of a border wall last month, Mulvaney's semantics on the issue highlight the still-vast distance between the White House and congressional Democrats. After a 16-day shutdown, little headway has been made in negotiations, and Vice President Mike Pence said yesterday that the White House won't accept anything less than the $5.7 billion in wall funding it originally requested.

Go deeper: Federal workers could be the force that ends the shutdown

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Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  4. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
13 mins ago - Health

Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.

Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
36 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.