Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and White House chief of staff for President Obama, called on the federal government in a Wall Street Journal op-ed to create a Cabinet-level executive department to coordinate the nation’s response to future pandemics.

Why it matters: Emanuel suggested that the agency, which he called the Department of Public Health and Emergency Care, should be modeled on the Department of Homeland Security created by President George W. Bush after 9/11.

What he's saying: Emanuel argued that because multiple "disconnected agencies" are responsible for the national response to a pandemic, none can be fully held accountable for government incompetence in the face of an outbreak.

  • "Even if the buck ultimately stops in the Oval Office, Americans should be able to hold a single official accountable for the nation’s anticipation, preparation and response to future pandemics," he writes.
  • "History will hold Mr. Trump responsible for the federal government’s lack of urgency in the early weeks, and the cavalier response that followed. He cannot claim he was insufficiently warned."

The big picture: Emanuel recommended that the agency build and maintain a strategic stockpile of medical equipment, set up a warning system for potential global viruses and develop a corps of health care professionals that would deploy to hotspots.

  • "One crucial lesson of the current catastrophe is that response speed plays an outsize role in determining the extent of devastation," he wrote. "But the diffusion of power slows us down."

Go deeper: 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 30,919,638 — Total deaths: 959,332— Total recoveries: 21,152,996Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30p.m. ET: 6,799,141 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.