Apr 5, 2017

The odd-couple summit with Trump and Xi Jinping

Evan Vucci / AP

White House insiders tell me that when the president meets the other most powerful man in the world, China's Xi Jinping, at Mar-a-Lago tomorrow, expect Trump to be cordial in public, tough(ish) in private.

Trump plans to tell Xi behind the scenes that he will stick up for the country in a way that his predecessors didn't. But for the cameras, Trump will play the cordial host — his natural mien.

Trump isn't expected to make as big a point of human-rights issues as some of his conservative backers would like.

Axios' all-terrain Jonathan Swan, after his "Morning Joe" debut, jumped on a White House summit preview call late yesterday, where senior officials said Trump's primary purpose will be to "put a framework in place" to help the two leaders work through their disagreements on everything from trade to North Korea. Other takeaways:

  • Trump has little interest in dealing with global warming. When a reporter asked the officials about the subject, they quickly pivoted to North Korea.
  • South China Sea incursions: An official said it was "no secret" that Trump was "disturbed by the activities that took place under the last administration."
  • Swan's read: Trump loved dealing one-on-one during his real estate career, and we wouldn't be surprised if he elevates more of the conversations with China to the leader-to-leader level.

And, as Axios AM told you when we broke the story of the Mar-a-Lago summit, there won't be any golf.

Chaser ... About an hour after an official on the call warned North Korea that "the clock has now run out and all options are on the table," Pyongyang fired "a newly developed powerful ballistic missile."

Go deeper

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers sue CVS, alleging drug pricing fraud

Photo: John Lamparski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Six Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have sued CVS Health, alleging the pharmacy chain overcharged them based on "artificially inflated prices" for generic drugs and concealed the true cash prices of those drugs.

The big picture: CVS has faced legal scrutiny over its cash discount programs since 2015, and this lawsuit adds big names to a mounting problem.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy