Welcome to Sneak Peek, our weekly lookahead from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, plus our best scoops.
🍿 Tonight on "Axios on HBO" (6pm ET/PT): DNC chair Tom Perez talks about the coronavirus and the party's future. See a clip. ... House Majority Whip James Clyburn warns the U.S. "could very well go the way of Germany in the 1930s." See a clip.
Tonight's newsletter is 1,517 words, a 6-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
It took a stock market crash — and a Fox News star's intervention — to finally snap President Trump's delusional and possibly disastrous fixation with treating the coronavirus like just another winter flu.
Why it matters: Because the government was so slow to distribute tests, Trump officials don't know how far the virus has spread in the U.S.
Behind the scenes: The president and some of his team were in denial about the virus for weeks, portraying it as just an overhyped winter flu. Over the past week, per half a dozen Trump advisers, a series of alarm bells snapped them out of their complacency.
Trump's error-riddled Wednesday night address — which sent the markets spiraling — was the low point of a disastrous month for the administration. One senior White House official described it as "just awful."
The big picture: The calamitous speech obscured signs that the administration is hustling to get its act together.
Between the lines: Trump laid a trap for himself by falsely claiming the U.S. footprint of the virus was small and shrinking.
The bottom line: The president initially set impossible expectations. When the numbers come in, he'll have to face reality.
Cover: Center Street
Madeleine Westerhout, who spent 2½ years as President Trump's Oval Office gatekeeper, will release a frank memoir on Aug. 11 about one mistake that cost her one of the world's most fascinating jobs.
Westerhout will recount an "off-the-record" dinner with reporters on the road — an age-old White House tradition. Hers had a disastrous fallout when word of what was discussed over drinks got back to the West Wing.
Westerhout said: "With so many books out there that have attacked President Trump, I feel it is important to share what I see as the other side — the truth —about the man who is a kind and generous boss, a great leader for our country, and someone I grew to deeply admire."
Photo: "Axios on HBO"
In an interview with "Axios on HBO," DNC chair Tom Perez said he "doesn't know what faith" supporters of President Trump are worshipping when they go to church after going to Trump rallies.
Driving the news: "I think the challenge that I see among a lot of people that go to Donald Trump rallies, and then they will go to church on Sunday, and I'm not, I don't know what faith they are worshipping," Perez said in an interview recorded last week on a swing through Florida.
The big picture: Perez made these comments after I asked him about a Catholic leader's criticism of statements Perez had made about Democrats and abortion rights.
The key exchange:
Fact check: The Catholic vote was closely split between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016. Exit polls indicated Trump won more of the Catholic vote, but subsequent analysis had Clinton slightly ahead.
Between the lines: I had first asked Perez how he reconciled his position that all Democrats must support abortion rights with the success of the Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Edwards was the only Democrat to win statewide in the Deep South in the 2018 midterms.
"The nation's top infectious disease expert on Sunday did not rule out supporting a temporary national lockdown of the country's restaurants and bars in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, saying he'd like to see a 'dramatic' reduction in activity in order to fight the disease," per CNN.
Driving the news: "Asked by CNN's Brianna Keilar on 'State of the Union' if he'd like a 'national lockdown' where people are being told they need to stay home and out of restaurants and bars, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he'd 'like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see' in those places."
The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center has suspended all public tours until the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
The Capitol — as well as House and Senate office buildings — is closed to the public through April 1 due to the coronavirus.
The House is on recess this week. However, some technical changes need to be made to the bipartisan coronavirus bill the House passed in the early hours of Saturday morning, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
The Senate will stay in Washington. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell canceled recess to continue work on legislation dealing with the coronavirus, Alayna writes.
The White House did not offer a copy of President Trump's schedule this week, but Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that he and Trump will brief the nation’s governors, as well as local officials in U.S. territories and in D.C., on Monday.
🚨Tonight: The 11th presidential debate with former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders will take place at 8pm ET at CNN studios in Washington, D.C., with no live audience due to coronavirus precautions.