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Vice President Pence said during a White House press conference Wednesday that hospitals should move to delay elective procedures, as the nation's medical system scrambles to deal with those sickened by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: His request comes as states have already reported inadequate supplies of protective gear for health care workers — and as the country faces a potential severe shortage of hospital beds as the outbreak worsens.

What he said:

"We are again today asking every American and our medical community leaders and hospitals to partner with us in delaying elective procedures across the country in our health care system to ensure that medical supplies and medical capacity go where they're needed most."

The big picture: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams asked the same over the weekend.

  • Some hospitals already started canceling or postponing elective surgeries, MarketWatch writes.

President Trump announced new measures the administration is taking to combat the spread of the virus at the briefing:

  • He said he will invoke the Korean War-era Defense Production Act which will allow the government to sign contracts to boost the production of masks and other medical supplies.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development is "suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April."

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump tells confidants he plans to pardon Michael Flynn

Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

President Trump has told confidants he plans to pardon his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, two sources with direct knowledge of the discussions tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: Sources with direct knowledge of the discussions said Flynn will be part of a series of pardons that Trump issues between now and when he leaves office.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
4 hours ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.