Oct 1, 2019

Republicans break with Trump on China's 70th anniversary

Photo: Thomas Peter - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted his congratulations to China and President Xi Jinping on the nation's 70-year anniversary, which marks the start of the country's communist regime, but some congressional Republicans struck a vastly different tone.

Why it matters: Like his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the split highlights how Trump's public attitude toward foreign adversaries — even as he hammers China on economic issues — can often be at odds with GOP orthodoxy.

The big picture: Trump's congratulatory message comes as the eyes of the world have landed on Hong Kong, which faced another massive pro-democracy march that erupted into violence.

  • Police shot a protestor with a live round, the first incident of its kind since protests started months ago.

What Republicans are saying:

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.): "From the modern gulags used to incarcerate Xinjiang’s Uighurs, to the high-tech firewalls and censorship that control the flow of information, to the state’s extensive technical surveillance, to all of the Communist Party’s other tools of social and political control, Xi Jinping’s China looks disturbingly like a modern version of Maoist China."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) called Chinese leaders "tyrants," adding, "The freedom-seekers in Hong Kong mourn this anniversary, and the American people stand with them against those who deny their God-given dignity."
  • Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) called pushback against protesters in Hong Kong a "ceaseless war against those who wish to live in freedom" and described 70 years under communist rule in China as "ghoulish."
  • GOP House Conference Chair Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (Wis.) said in a joint statement that today "is not a day for celebration. Rather, it is an opportunity to remember the victims, past and present, of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)."
  • Rep. Ralph Norman (S.C.) tweeted: "Today I will not be celebrating the 70 years of genocidal communist tyranny, but the spirit of liberty that lives on in the hearts of the protesters in #HongKong and around the world."
  • Rep. Chip Roy (Texas) quoted Trump's tweet and responded simply: "I will pass."

Go deeper: A case study in Trump's GOP mind control

Go deeper

The wreckage of summer

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.