The Paso del Norte International Bridge. Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration has been installing surveillance cameras on the U.S.-Mexico border because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents reviewed by AP.

Why it matters: It is adding the cameras, which are manned by manned by the military, even though fewer people appear to be crossing illegally.

  • The documents show that the Pentagon sent 60 mobile surveillance cameras and 540 soldiers to the border in April at the request of the Department of Homeland Security.

What they're saying: Matthew Dyman, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told the AP that the Pentagon will remove the cameras after the pandemic is over.

  • He added that each person who crosses the border illegally "has the potential to be carrying the COVID-19 virus and puts American lives at risk."

The other side: "There is no evidence that suggests there are hordes of COVID-19 patients lined up along the border," David Shirk, an associate political science professor at University of San Diego, told the AP.

  • "And there is no evidence that COVID-19 is even contributing to a surge in people trying to cross the border."

The big picture: The cameras were deployed only days before President Trump issued an executive order pausing the issuance of green cards for 60 days, arguing it would limit competition for jobs.

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Mike Allen, author of AM
Jul 31, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden campaign vows virus focus

Joe Biden puts on a mask after a campaign event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign contends that President Trump's talk of delaying November's election is an effort to distract, and vows to be what a Biden aide called "laser-focused" on Trump's pandemic response.

Why it matters: After aides convinced the president that the issue was hurting him badly in the polls, Trump has tried for the past two weeks to show renewed focus on the coronavirus, including the restoration of his briefings.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting

CDC director Robert Redfield testified Friday that he was not involved in the Trump administration's decision to bypass his agency and instead have hospitals send coronavirus data to the Health and Human Services Department.

Why it matters: According to the COVID Tracking Project, data on coronavirus hospitalizations has been "unstable since July 15" — five days after the change.