Mar 22, 2017

The highlights from Spicer's Wednesday briefing

Evan Vucci / AP

Spicer opened the briefing with comments about the terrorist attack in London, noting that President Trump has spoken by telephone with Prime Minister Theresa May and has condemned the attacks.

  • Devin Nunes statement: Spicer read from the statement delivered Wednesday by House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, who said "sources" told him of "incidental collection" of surveillance on the Trump transition team. Spicer added that Nunes "went down and spoke to the media before he spoke to us."
  • On the AHCA vote: "We're not looking at a plan B, there's only plan A... and we're gonna get this done." He called Trump a "closer" and added that he's confident the House bill will pass tomorrow.
  • Paul Manafort's ties to Russia: Spicer gave a lengthy answer, emphasizing that Manafort's work for a Russian billionaire was "a decade ago." As for whether Trump knew? "Of course he didn't!" said Spicer. It'd be "insane" to think the president would have known all of his past clients.
  • Can you confirm no one in the WH is working for a foreign government? "I can confirm every form has been filled out," said Spicer.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,500,830 — Total deaths: 87,706 — Total recoveries: 317,855Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 423,135 — Total deaths: 14,390 — Total recoveries: 23,127Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business update: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World update: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment update: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Chicago jail is largest-known source of coronavirus

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Chicago's Cook County jail is the largest-known source of coronavirus infections in the U.S., the New York Times reports. The White House has identified Chicago's metro area as a risk for exponential growth of the virus.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health