Apr 13, 2017

Trump administration vs. global climate accord

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Chatter is building on whether the Trump administration will stay or withdraw from a global climate accord, struck in 2015 by nearly 200 nations, ahead of the administration's anticipated decision by the end of next month.

Driving the news: George David Banks, a top advisor in the Trump White House for global climate and energy issues, is working to keep the U.S. government in the deal while throwing out the Obama administration's pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions specific levels.

The other side: Myron Ebell, a top expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and former transition advisor for Trump's EPA, represents the right flank of the GOP that wants America out of the climate deal altogether. He says he prefers the administration pull out entirely, but his rhetoric is softening oh so slightly, and he's saying now that no matter what decision is made, it'll be portrayed as withdrawal.

"I'm pretty sure whatever they do they're going to say it's withdrawal," Ebell told Axios. "There are different ways to withdraw."

What that means: Ebell says the Trump administration could withdraw President Obama's pledge, which is the current leading possibility.

Reality check: During the campaign, Trump said he would "cancel" the Paris deal, which is technically impossible. Dropping Obama's pledge is also not technically withdrawing from the deal, but it's a nuanced detail that can easily be overlooked and massaged as necessary in rallies and meetings when appropriate by administration officials.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,484,811 — Total deaths: 88,538 — Total recoveries: 329,876Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 432,132 — Total deaths: 14,817 — Total recoveries: 23,906Map.
  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: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: 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: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. 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.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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New Zealand sets sights on coronavirus elimination after 2 weeks of lockdown

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gives a coronavirus media update at the New Zealand Parliament. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand has flattened the curve of novel coronavirus cases after two weeks of lockdown and the next phase is to "squash it," professor Shaun Hendy, who heads a scientific body advising the government on COVID-19, told Axios.

Why it matters: Te Pūnaha Matatini, the Center of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland of which Hendy is director, released research Thursday showing there could've been hundreds more Covid-19 cases were it not for the lockdown — and there's a good chance the strict measures will help stamp out the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 14,800

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

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected more than 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. The state has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health