Vice President Mike Pence told "Axios on HBO" that he welcomes the idea of bringing Michael Flynn back into government, after the Justice Department moved last week to drop its criminal case against President Trump's former national security adviser.

Why it matters: Trump said April 30 that he would "certainly consider" bringing Flynn back into the administration. Since Flynn had been accused of lying to the vice president, Pence's blessing clears an obstacle to him returning to Trump’s inner circle.

  • "I think Gen. Michael Flynn is an American patriot," Pence said during the interview in Iowa on Friday. "And for my part, I'd be happy to see Michael Flynn again."

The big picture: Trump lavished praise on the decision by his Justice Department to go to court to drop charges against Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

  • On Twitter, the president called the Justice Department's abandonment of the case "a BIG day for Justice in the USA. Congratulations to General Flynn, and many others. I do believe there is MUCH more to come!"

Trump insiders say they wouldn't be surprised to see Flynn back on the campaign trail, where he was a warmup act for Trump in 2016.

Go deeper: Justice Department drops prosecution of Michael Flynn

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 12,220,166 — Total deaths: 553,438 — Total recoveries — 6,696,632Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,111,902 — Total deaths: 133,195 — Total recoveries: 969,111 — Total tested: 38,032,966Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
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Tokyo in the time of coronavirus. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty

Many politicians and public health officials sounded a similar lockdown refrain in the spring: let’s do this right so we only have to do it once.

Reality check: While some countries have thus far managed to keep cases under control after opening up, dozens of countries that had initially turned a corner are now seeing a worrying rebound. They have to decide if and how to return to lockdown — and whether their populations will stand for it.