Jan 29, 2019

1. Stacey Abrams to deliver Democratic response to State of the Union

Stacey Abrams. Photo: Jessica McGowan via Getty Images

Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the Georgia gubernatorial election during the 2018 midterms, will deliver the Democrats’ response to President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 5, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

"[Abrams] is a great spokesperson. She's an incredible leader. She has led the charge for voting rights, which is at the root of just about everything else."
— Schumer

The big picture: While in some years past there have been no rebuttals, all State of the Union responses to date have been delivered by sitting officials. Abrams, who does not currently hold elected office, will join the ranks of high profile politicians like then-Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio, then-Gov. Tim Kaine and then-Gov. Nikki Haley who have delivered the rebuttal. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will give the Spanish-language response to the State of the Union.

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China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown

People wearing facemasks stand near Yangtze River in Wuhan. Photo: HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images

China has lifted its lockdown of Wuhan, the city in Hubei province where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported in December, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: As cases surged in January, China took the draconian step of sealing off the city of 11 million and shutting down its economy — a response that was viewed at the time as only possible in an authoritarian system, but which has since been adopted by governments around the world.

Go deeperArrow21 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 1,381,014— Total deaths: 78,269 — Total recoveries: 292,973Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 378,289 — Total deaths: 11,830 — Total recoveries: 20,003Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill
  4. Federal government latest: Senate looks to increase coronavirus relief for small businesses this week — Testing capacity is still lagging far behind demand.
  5. States update: New York death toll surged to its highest one-day total as state predicts a plateau in hospitalizations.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The race to reopen America
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy