J. Scott Applewhite / AP

President Trump's Budget Director Mick Mulvaney spoke with CNBC's John Harwood about what to expect from the administration's four-year economic plan — and he's more realistic about what is and isn't possible.

Our thought bubble: Mulvaney is known as a deficit hawk, but he says he's planning to work within the constraints the president has set out (no entitlement cuts, infrastructure and military spending on the rise), so it won't be easy to cut spending and eliminate the debt to the degree he might otherwise like.

Trump's trillion dollar infrastructure plan is "the most efficient way to actually allocate resources," Mulvaney argued, adding, "It's a little less important to me if infrastructure adds to the deficit."

On the debt ceiling: "Yeah, we're going to raise the debt ceiling. But we're going to have to do it as part and parcel of a larger thing."

An impending government shutdown: Mulvaney told Hardwood the chances of a shutdown are "very low" and insisted that it wouldn't be that big of a deal because "83% of the government stays open in a government shut-down. Social Security checks go out, military still exists. ...I think the consequences have been blown out of proportion."

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Deadly Hurricane Zeta slams U.S. Gulf Coast

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a 55-year-old man was "electrocuted by a downed power line" in Louisiana as the storm caused widespread power outages Wednesday night, per AP.

What's happening: Zeta made landfall south of New Orleans as a Category 2 hurricane earlier Wednesday before weakening to Category 1. But it was still "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain" late Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: 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.
1 hour ago - Health

Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, testifies during a September Senate hearing on COVID-19 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Graeme Jennings/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Wednesday he doesn't expect a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready until January 2021 or later.

What he's saying: Fauci said during the interview that the U.S. was in a "bad position" after failing to keep case numbers down post-summer. "We should have been way down in baseline and daily cases and we’re not," he said.