Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence on June 13. Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters at a Saturday press conference that Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence called him about the upcoming college football season.

What they're saying: “...I want college football to come back. These are strong, healthy, incredible people. These are people that want to play football very badly," Trump said Saturday evening. "A great, great talented quarterback Trevor Lawrence called me two days ago; I spoke to him a couple times."

  • "He said, 'Sir, I want to just tell you we want it back, we want to play.' He's an incredible quarterback from an incredible school, Clemson. And he's going to have a very good future in the NFL."
  • "He made the statement that he feels he's safer on the field than he is outside of the field."

A Clemson football spokesman told Axios that according to Lawrence, the White House reached out and provided him a number to call.

Driving the news: Lawrence is among several high-profile players who voiced their desire to play the fall season, Axios' Kendall Baker writes.

  • "Football is a safe haven for so many people," Lawrence tweeted last Sunday. "We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football."
  • Following Lawrence's tweets, a dozen players from all five major NCAA conferences released a joint statement, expressing their desire to play the 2020 season, while laying out their plans to form a players' association in the future.

The big picture: The Big Ten and Pac-12 announced this week they've voted to postpone their 2020 fall sports seasons, including football, due to risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, hoping instead to play next spring.

  • Trump has repeatedly pushed for college football to return this fall.
  • The president's effort to resume football is "elevating the emotionally charged cultural debate as part of his push to reopen the country amid the coronavirus pandemic," the Washington Post writes.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2020 - Health

CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people

CDC director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Sept. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its previously revised guidance for coronavirus testing on Friday to say that testing asymptomatic people who were exposed to COVID-19 is recommended for treatment and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The CDC's modification in August to recommend against testing for asymptomatic people was not written by scientists and posted despite their "serious objections," New York Times first reported. CNN confirmed that the agency's update was published outside the agency's "normal review process."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 30,804,120 — Total deaths: 957,348— Total recoveries: 21,062,785Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,766,631 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
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  4. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
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Sep 18, 2020 - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.