Feb 14, 2017

The takeaways from Spicer's first post-Flynn briefing

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The big message from Sean Spicer today: Flynn's departure was "not a legal issue, but a trust issue." Spicer said that Trump asked for Flynn's resignation last night, which is in conflict with reporting that said Flynn himself decided to resign. The highlights from today's Flynn-themed briefing...

  • The first day that Trump knew about Flynn: January 26th — after a briefing from the Department of Justice.
  • The reason for letting Flynn go: "The level of trust between the President and Gen. Flynn had eroded to the point where he had to make a change."
  • Flynn's chat was fine: Spicer said that Trump "absolutely" didn't direct Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador but at the same time "the president had no problem that he acted in accord with his job.
  • Just Russia?: Spicer refused to say if Trump's "eroding trust" in Flynn extended to other issues beyond Russia; he simply said that Trump gets briefed by a full team.
  • Mar-a-Lago dinner: Spicer confirmed there's a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) at Mar-a-Lago and said that the photos of Trump discussing North Korea at dinner were actually of him discussing press logistics.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 652,079 — Total deaths: 30,438 — Total recoveries: 137,319.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 116,505 — Total deaths: 1,925 — Total recoveries: 921.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers financial relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters that supported Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are now balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers 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.

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Infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus in Chicago

Hospital staff working inside a COVID-19 screening tent in Chicago on March 26. Photo: Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images

An infant less than one year old died in Chicago, Illinois after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, the state health department said on Saturday.

Why it matters: The death would mark the first reported infant mortality from COVID-19 in the U.S. The fatality rate for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. is highest among those over 85 years old, per the CDC.

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

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — states that have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing.

The big picture: With 112,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

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