Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

ICYMI, Axios had an exclusive this morning on Sean Spicer's attempts to push back on reports that Trump campaign aides "had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election." And it was a hot topic at Spicer's press briefing today along with the budget and the revised travel ban executive order...

  • Spicer responds to Axios' exclusive: Spicer refused to comment directly on our reporting that he connected CIA Director Mike Pompeo with reporters. He instead stated that the White House continued to deny the accuracy of the NYT story and directed reporters to engage with "subject matter experts" to corroborate that.
  • On a special prosecutor for Russia: "Special prosecutor for what?" Spicer added: "At what point, how many people have to say there's nothing there until you realize that there's nothing there?"
  • The budget: OMB Head Mick Mulvaney was a special guest to discuss the topline budget numbers officials received today. Mulvaney reiterated that this is only a blueprint, and the full budget will come in early May.
  • The revised travel ban can be expected in the "middle of this week." The White House will continue defending the original executive order, though, "because [the administration] was right the first time."
  • Yemen raid: On the heels of criticism from a fallen Navy SEAL's father, Spicer said that 3 DoD investigations will occur, but affirmed that they're all standard operating procedure. He again characterized the mission as "successful."
  • Internal leak inquiry? Spicer said he isn't aware of one.
  • The art of the deal: When asked if Trump secured something for the U.S. in exchange for his support of the One-China policy, Spicer said, "The president always gets something."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Twitter removes tweet from Trump's COVID adviser claiming masks do not work. Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Herd immunity claims by top Trump adviser are "pseudoscience," infectious-disease expert say.
  2. Map: 38 states, D.C. see surge in cases.
  3. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — Fauci says he's "absolutely not" surprised Trump got coronavirus.
  4. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
2 hours ago - Technology

Why education technology can’t save remote learning

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The coronavirus-sparked shift to widespread remote work has been generally smooth because most modern offices were already using a raft of communication, collaboration and administrative tools. Remote learning has faced a much rougher transition.

Why it matters: Even the best technology can't eliminate the inherent problems of virtual schooling. Several key technological stumbling blocks have persisted in keeping remote learning from meeting its full potential, experts tell Axios.

Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking ProjectHarvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus hospitalizations are increasing in 39 states, and are at or near their all-time peak in 16.

The big picture: No state is anywhere near the worst-case situation of not having enough capacity to handle its COVID-19 outbreak. But rising hospitalization rates are a sign that things are getting worse, at a dangerous time, and a reminder that this virus can do serious harm.