House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Sunday she is receiving health updates on President Trump, who is in the hospital with the coronavirus, through the media and not through official briefings or contact with the White House.

Why it matters: Pelosi is second in the line of succession behind Vice President Mike Pence.

  • The media has played a significant role in bringing to light the negligence of White House officials in containing the coronavirus, as well as in making sense of the confusing narrative coming from the Trump administration surrounding the president's health.

What she's saying: "We're getting our information the way everyone else is, in the media," Pelosi told CBS' "Face the Nation."

  • "But in terms of the succession, that's an ongoing process. Sadly at this time, it comes to the forefront," she added.
  • "We pray for his good health, his speedy recovery. But I hope it will be a signal that we really have to do better in preventing the spread of this virus."
  • "We wouldn't pray if we didn't believe there was a chance that there could be an answer. And so I pray that in addition to his health, that the president's heart will be open to the millions of people who have been affected, the hundreds of thousands of families that have suffered a death, and also to recognize that a preponderance of the impact of the virus in communities of color that maybe don't have the kind of access to care that the president or the rest of us have."

Worth noting: The Constitution establishes a chain for who becomes "acting president" if the president is incapacitated — but even in the event that both Trump and Pence fall ill from the coronavirus, many responsibilities could be delegated to White House staff before they'd turn to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

  • "Actual succession under the 25th Amendment only kicks in with an effective vacancy due to death or complete incapacity," according to Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University.
  • Pence has tested negative for the coronavirus.

Go deeper: The media’s 2020 moment

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Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for 2nd straight day
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.
Oct 24, 2020 - World

Poland's president tests positive for coronavirus

Duda. Photo: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Polish President Andrzej Duda has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson announced on Saturday.

The big picture: Duda is reportedly feeling well and in isolation. His positive test comes amid a massive uptick in COVID-19 throughout the country and elsewhere across Europe.

  • Poland had previously warded off the virus with relative success, but is now facing a massive influx of cases that threatens to overwhelm its medical system.
  • The nation on Saturday tracked "13,628 new cases and 179 new deaths — a record number of deaths in one day since the start of pandemic," AP reports.