Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 1,202,827 — Total deaths: 64,771 — Total recoveries: 246,886Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 312,076 — Total deaths: 8,496 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. 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.

Trump defends firing intel community watchdog as lawmakers demand answers

President Donald Trump answers questions in the press briefing room of the White House. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump doubled down on Saturday on his decision to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, calling the official a "disgrace" for his handling of the whistleblower complaint that triggered his impeachment.

Why it matters: The move is part of a broader push to purge the administration of officials deemed disloyal to the president. But both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are demanding an explanation over his latest action.

Trump blasts U.S. Navy captain who sounded alarm about coronavirus

President Trump briefs reports on April 4. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday said he agreed with the Pentagon's decision to relieve Capt. Brett Crozier of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt after the captain sent a letter to officials pleading for help as members of his crew contracted the coronavirus.

What he's saying: "The letter was a five page letter from a captain, and the letter was all over the place," Trump said at a White House briefing on Saturday. "That's not appropriate. I don't think that's appropriate. And these are tough people. These are tough, strong people. I thought it looked terrible, to be honest with you."

Trump considers billionaire ally Steve Feinberg for senior intel role

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump is seriously considering installing billionaire investor Steve Feinberg in a senior role at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, according to four sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Feinberg would enter the ODNI at an especially fraught time — during a pandemic, an election year, and during a period where Trump has a deeply frayed relationship with his intelligence community.

The stimulus package has a college gap

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Congress’ CARES Act will send one-time relief checks to most Americans. But many adults who are tax dependents won’t get a cut of the more than $300 billion set to be distributed in direct payments.

Yes, but: Adults who can be claimed as dependents on another person's tax return don't qualify either for the $1,200 checks or for the $500 add-on for each child.

47% of U.S. foreign-born population in past decade was college-educated

Last July 4, Vice President Pence and Karen Pence posed with new Americans after a naturalization ceremony at the National Archives. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Nearly half of the foreign-born population that moved to the U.S. over the 10-year stretch from 2010 to 2019 went to college, a level of education greatly exceeding immigrants from previous decade, AP reports.

Why it matters: The arrival of highly skilled workers supplanted workers in fields like construction that shrunk after the Great Recession.

Trump's new purge

Michael Atkinson, arrives in October for closed-door questioning about the whistleblower complaint. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sources close to President Trump expect him to fire more inspectors general across his government, after his Friday night removal of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community I.G. who alerted Congress to the complaint that triggered impeachment.

What they're saying: Conservative allies of the president have told him that these I.G.s are members of the “deep state” trying to undermine him. Trump appears to have embraced that view.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Barr orders broadened use of home confinement as coronavirus hits prisons

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr instructed the Bureau of Prisons on Friday to expand the use of home confinement and accelerate the release of eligible, high-risk inmates at three federal correctional facilities struck by the coronavirus, AP reports.

The state of play: As of Friday evening, 91 inmates and 50 staff had tested positive for COVID-19 at federal prisons across the U.S., per the agency.

Biden says he's starting VP search this month

Joe Biden. Photo: Scott Olson / Staff

Joe Biden said he's spoken to Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama about selecting a running mate — and that he wants to build "a bench of younger, really qualified people" who can lead the nation over the course of the next four presidential cycles.

Driving the news: Biden spoke about the state of the 2020 race during a virtual fundraiser on Friday night that was opened to pooled coverage.

Trump ousting intelligence community inspector general

Michael Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community. Photo: Bill Clark / Getty Images

President Trump notified key lawmakers on Friday that he’s firing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general, who first alerted Congress last September of an "urgent" complaint from an official involving Trump's correspondence with the Ukrainian president.

Why it matters: The move, to take effect in 30 days, comes amid a broader initiative to purge the administration of officials seen as disloyal to the president.

Trump invokes DPA to target "wartime profiteers" of medical equipment

President Trump answers questions from reporters on April 3. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump accused "wartime profiteers" of buying, hoarding and exporting medical equipment and protective gear on Friday, in a Defense Production Act directive for FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to prevent such conduct.

The big picture: Health care workers and the federal government are scrambling to stretch limited inventories of medical equipment to fight the coronavirus crisis, as the U.S. is unlikely to be able to manufacture enough medical masks and ventilators in time for a surge in demand expected to hit in mid-April.

Montana governor says every county has opted to expand mail-in voting

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said on Friday that every county has opted to expand mail-in voting for the state's June 2 primary, which is not expected to be delayed. Options outside of mail-in ballots are still available to constituents, Bullock said at a press conference.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while more than 40 states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Apr 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy
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