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

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Trump at a rally in Arizona. Ralph Freso/Getty Images

With just 17 days left until the election, President Trump is going all in on immigration as a way to help Republicans keep the House. “Democrats want to throw your borders wide open to deadly drugs and endless gangs,” he said at an Arizona rally last night.

Why it matters: Republicans have a 16% chance of keeping the House, according to FiveThirtyEight. That certainly worries Trump — who's already said it won't be his fault if that happens — so he's making the 2018 midterms all about the base.

Be smart: Immigration in 2018 isn't about policy; it's about both sides making a cultural argument to turn out their base voters. Democrats call to abolish ICE while Republicans claim Democrats want open borders and support MS-13 gangs.

Democrats worry immigration is an emotional and powerful issue that drives Republican voters to the polls, especially with stories like the undocumented immigrant accused of killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts.

The big picture: The GOP hasn't been able to effectively talk about health care (after failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act) and their tax law isn't polling well around the country. But immigration and stoking fear about Mexican immigrants propelled Trump to the White House in 2016, so he's forcing the GOP back into that conversation.

Think back to October 2016. That's when Trump introduced the phrase "bad hombres," vowing to deport all of them from the U.S.

  • He repeated the conspiracy theory that border patrol agents were speeding up immigrants' applications — even those with a criminal record — "so they can go and vote" in our 2016 presidential election.  
  • Exit polls from that election showed Trump crushed Hillary Clinton among voters who ranked immigration as the most important issue, winning them by 31 percentage points. And 73% of Trump voters ranked immigration as "very high importance" to them and their 2016 vote.

The bottom line: As a Republican national strategist told me this week, "The GOP closing argument will be all about immigration and stopping Democrats from controlling Congress."

Go deeper: Caravan of Honduran immigrants advances into Mexico

Go deeper

46 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
46 mins ago - Health

Many vulnerable Americans have received the coronavirus vaccine

Data: CDC, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than two-thirds of Americans 75 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as have more than half of those 65-74, per CDC data.

Why it matters: Any future surge in cases almost certainly wouldn't be as deadly as previous waves, because older people are the most likely to die from the virus.

3 hours ago - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.

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