Peter Navarro during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The "globalization of production" is to blame for a shortage of essential medical equipment needed to treat the novel coronavirus in the U.S., President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro told "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Details: Journalist Bill Whitaker asked Navarro how the U.S. could be "blindsided," with hospitals running out of masks and gowns. Navarro blamed "multinational corporations, who salute no flag, who love cheap sweatshop labor, and who love the massive subsidies that the Chinese government throws at production to bring it from here to there." Navarro said, "We wouldn't be having this problem if we had the domestic production."

Of note: During the interview, Navarro dismissed as "fake news" reports that the intelligence community was notifying the administration in January about the potentially catastrophic effects if the coronavirus spread.

  • CBS noted Axios obtained memos a few days after the prerecorded "60 Minutes interview" that showed Navarro himself saying "almost exactly that."

Flashback: A Jan. 29 memo showed Navarro said a pandemic scenario could take as many as half a million lives in the U.S. He did not contest the authenticity of the memos to CBS.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 22,000 people and infected over 555,000 in the United States, per Johns Hopkins data. Almost 33,000 Americans have recovered from the virus.

  • All but eight states have issued stay-at-home orders in response to the outbreak.

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U.S. threatens UN peacekeeping veto for Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 20,388,408 — Total deaths: 743,599— Total recoveries: 12,616,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 5,150,590 — Total deaths: 164,681 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.

Trump congratulates QAnon conspiracy theorist on GOP runoff win

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Wednesday tweeted congratulations to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a vocal QAnon conspiracy theorist who won the Republican nomination in Georgia's deep-red 14th Congressional District runoff.

Why it matters: The president's approval illustrates how the once-fringe conspiracy theory has gained ground within the GOP. Greene is among the at least 11 GOP candidates for Congress who have openly supported or defended the QAnon movement or some of its tenets, per Axios' Jacob Knutson.