May 25, 2019

Mike Pence: West Point grads should expect to see combat

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence told the 2019 graduating class of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Saturday that the world is a "dangerous place" and the graduates should expect to witness combat in the future.

The big picture: Pence also told the graduates that some of them will "join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq," as the U.S. prepares to send thousands of troops to the Middle East amid growing tensions with Iran.

What he's saying:

  • Pence said that President Trump "will always have your back" as they get ready to "join the fight."
  • He also shared that Trump proposed the largest defense budget in U.S. history as the nation "is once again embracing our role as the leader of the free world."
  • The vice president noted the diversity of the graduating class — which has the largest number of graduating African American women in the Academy's history.

Watch Pence's commencement speech:

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 32,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 32,000 people around the world — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections, with more than 125,000 by noon on Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. surpassed on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 685,623 — Total deaths: 32,137 — Total recoveries: 145,706.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 125,313 — Total deaths: 2,197 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week.
  6. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  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.

Fixing America's broken coronavirus supply chain

Polowczyk speaks at a coronavirus at the White House March 23. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The senior Navy officer now in charge of fixing America's coronavirus supply chain is trying to fill the most urgent needs: ventilators and personal protective gear. But barely a week into his role at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he's still trying to establish what's in the pipeline and where it is.

Driving the news: "Today, I, as leader of FEMA's supply chain task force, am blind to where all the product is," Rear Admiral John Polowczyk tells Axios.

Go deeperArrow19 mins ago - Health