Sen. John Barrasso is likely to make Trump's list, but could be hard to convince to take the job. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

Within hours of Trump firing Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, the Washington speculation machine whirred into action.

The NYT floated as possible replacements:

  • Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
  • Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • David Shulkin, the secretary of veterans affairs
  • Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. (Who I'm told has been added to the consideration list but would be an underdog for the job because of what he's said in the past about Trump. During the presidential campaign, Jindal described Trump as an "unserious and unstable narcissist.")

Another name to keep an eye on: Sen. John Barrasso, who chairs the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Sources close to the selection process tell me Trump thinks very highly of Barrasso and has told associates many times that he believes he's been one of the strongest and most effective advocates for the repeal and replace of Obamacare. But administration officials know it'd be tough to convince Barrasso to give up his post on Senate leadership.

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Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.