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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

A new Morning Consult poll found that 4% of 2,225 registered Democratic voters said billionaire and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg would be their first choice to take on President Trump next year.

Why it matters: The poll places the former mayor of New York City above 10 candidates currently in the race, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

  • Bloomberg has not officially confirmed his candidacy, but he has filed paperwork to enter the 2020 presidential primary in Alabama, which had a deadline to file for its ballot last Friday.

Details: The poll found that Bloomberg fares as well as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden when matched up against Trump in a hypothetical election. 43% of voters nationwide said they would vote for Bloomberg, while 37% said they would vote for Trump.

The big picture: "If he were to run, Bloomberg would enter the 2020 Democratic contest with higher name recognition among the party’s electorate than 11 current contenders, including fellow billionaire Tom Steyer of California," per Morning Consult.

  • Bloomberg plans to skip early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to focus on making up ground in Super Tuesday states, according to AP.
  • Sources close to the former New York mayor told Axios that "Mike will spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump. The nation is about to see a very different campaign than we’ve ever seen before."

Yes, but: Source also told Axios that last week's announcement was partly a trial balloon to gauge interest and preserve the former mayor's options — but his own very extensive polling remains far from convincing.

  • Polling being studied by Bloomberg shows big, perhaps insurmountable hurdles, particularly if Joe Biden stays in. 

Methodology: The poll was conducted on Nov. 8 and surveyed 2,225 registered voters who indicated they may vote in the Democratic primary or caucus in their state and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.