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

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Trump shaking hands with a coal miner. Photo: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Bloomberg broke a story last night about the emerging structure of long-discussed Trump administration efforts to aid economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

Why it matters: Per their story, the plan would "represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets."

One level deeper: The news service obtained a memo — circulated ahead of a National Security Council meeting scheduled for today — describing plans for Energy Department use of emergency powers to force grid operators to buy power or power capacity from at-risk plants.

  • "The agency also is making plans to establish a 'Strategic Electric Generation Reserve' with the aim of promoting the national defense and maximizing domestic energy supplies," Bloomberg reports.

To be sure: Bloomberg notes that there's "no indication whether" Trump has signed off on the plan or when it might be implemented.

Between the lines: The story is the latest twist in intense political and lobbying battle over the fate of power plants that will or might go offline under market pressure from cheap natural gas, stagnant demand and the growth of renewables.

  • Administration officials argue that action to keep coal and nuclear plants going is essential for the reliability and resilience of the power system, but the claim is hotly disputed by many experts.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.