Feb 18, 2017

Mission Impossible: finding a national security adviser

Evan Vucci / AP

The latest on the president's search to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser:

  1. The dropouts: Retired generals Michael Harward and David Petraeus.
  2. Why Trump can't get his favorites to a "yes": A senior administration official (usually jargon for a White House staffer who won't go on the record) told the WSJ that it's because Trump won't permit a purge of the current staff, including deputy NSC K.T. McFarland, who was chosen by Trump himself.
  3. As the WSJ put it: "Administration officials want someone who is going to coordinate and limit conflicts with the agencies on the council, not try to take policy-making away from them or the president."
  4. The White House officials making policy: Increasingly Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, per CNN, WSJ and others.
  5. Still in play for the job: Acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg, former UN ambassador John Bolton, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and former Army Chief of Staff and retired Gen. Ray Odierno.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 883,225 — Total deaths: 44,156 — Total recoveries: 185,377Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 189,753 — Total deaths: 4,090 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: It's "a tale of two Americas" as the rich are more likely to work from home and the poor are more likely to report to work.
  4. 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.
  5. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  6. NYPD: Over 1,400 of its employees have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
  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.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Private equity hits the brakes amid coronavirus recovery uncertainties

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Private equity is still working on opportunistic deals when it can get a break from portfolio triage, but it's also boarding up the exits amid new questions about the speed of the coronavirus recovery.

The state of play: Sale processes are being shelved daily, even ones that already launched with investment bankers, data rooms, and interested suitors.

China's medical diplomacy is empowering euroskeptic leaders

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Chinese government has embarked on a highly publicized campaign to provide vital medical supplies to European countries as they fight coronavirus outbreaks within their borders.

Why it matters: Those efforts — and the perception that the European Union has done little to help — are providing fodder for politicians who are eager to hail China and criticize the EU. EU leaders may now have to worry about both Chinese and Russian overtures that weaken European unity.

Go deeperArrow42 mins ago - World