Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump held a listening session on the nation's opioid epidemic at the White House this morning, tapping New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — whom Trump branded an "immediate endorser" of his campaign — as the head of an initiative to tackle drug addiction. Also present were Cabinet members Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, and John Kelly, as well as a broader group of politicians and experts that included New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera.

Trump pledged to "[bring] together people terribly affected by this terrible epidemic" and promised an attendee whose son died of an overdose that "he will not have died in vain."

Christie branded addiction "a disease that can be treated," comparing it with cancer and diabetes while noting that "people are afraid and ashamed to talk about drug addiction."

Why Christie? He was an early advocate in the GOP primaries for changing how America deals with drug addicts.

Go deeper

Election influence operations target journalists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Foreign and domestic actors looking to influence the 2020 election are trying to trick real reporters into amplifying fake storylines. This tactic differs from 2016, when bad actors used fake accounts and bots to amplify disinformation to the population directly.

Why it matters: The new strategy, reminiscent of spy operations during the Cold War, is much harder for big tech platforms to police and prevent.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,081,725 — Total deaths: 997,777 — Total recoveries: 22,926,896Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,115,338 — Total deaths: 204,758 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases

Democrats demand Trump release his tax returns after NYT report

Compilation images of House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats called on President Trump to disclose his tax returns following a New York Times report alleging he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in 10 of the past 15 years.

Details: Trump said the report was "total fake news," that he's unable to release the returns as they're "under audit" by the IRS, "which does not treat me well." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the report "provides further evidence of the clear need" for a House lawsuit to access the tax returns and "ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence."