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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Mark Meadows and Sen. Ted Cruz, with co-host Michael Knowles. Photo via @tedcruz

In an episode out today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) lands White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for his podcast, "Verdict with Ted Cruz," which has had 10 million views and downloads since launching Jan. 21, amid the impeachment trial.

What they're saying: Regarding his West Wing routine, Meadows said, "I'll normally come in around 7:15. I get my daily briefing, which is an intel briefing at 7:30 that will scare anybody of all the threats that we get."

  • "We have a 15 minute meeting ... on the comms of the day. ... We go from there to a number of policy meetings. All of this is happening before 11. So you try to get in a full day's work before 11."

Meadows on midnight calls: "[S]o we have a church that was burning. I'm getting text messages in every way saying the president has got to do something. Washington, D.C., literally was burning. ... I'm on the phone with the president ... after midnight, and he says: 'Mark, we've got to get control of it.'"

  • "But that wasn't the first midnight call. ... [H]e calls the governor of Minnesota [Tim Walz] and says, 'Listen, I'm watching in real time what's happening in your cities there in Minnesota. ... We're going to send the National Guard. We'll help you.' And that was a president at almost 1 a.m."

Go deeper: Becoming White House chief of staff during coronavirus

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Go deeper

Sep 18, 2020 - Economy & Business

Anxious days for airline workers as mass layoffs loom

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, during a Sept. 9 protest outside the Capitol. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The clock is ticking for tens of thousands of anxious airline employees, who face mass reductions when the government's current payroll support program expires on Sept. 30.

Where it stands: Airline CEOs met Thursday with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who said President Trump would support an additional $25 billion from Congress to extend the current aid package through next March.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

3 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

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