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President Trump speaks to the press at the White House on May 21. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Thursday that while a second wave of the novel coronavirus is "a very distinct possibility," the U.S. should not issue widespread lockdowns or stay-at-home orders to fight the next outbreak.

Why it matters: This strategy would be a reversal of the administration's previous support for stay-at-home orders, most notably by NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Trump has frequently hedged on how long the country should remain closed.

Flashback: "I’ll tell you what — I did something that the experts thought I shouldn’t have done: I closed down our country and our borders. I did a ban on China from coming in, other than U.S. citizens. And we did very strong checks on even our U.S. citizens," Trump said in late April, stressing the benefits of the administration's actions.

Where it stands: Fauci told the Post this week that he has "no doubt" there will be new waves of the virus, with infections possibly rising in the fall. Many scientists say a second wave may not hold until then, the New York Times reports.

  • Stay-at-home orders have been issued on a state-by-state basis, with governors deciding how long their economies can withstand shuttered business and isolated people.
  • The official White House stance on states issuing stay-at-home orders has been to defer to each governor's judgement. Nearly every state has taken steps to reopen parts or the entirety of their economy, per a NYT analysis.

What he's saying: "People say that's a very distinct possibility, it's standard, and we're gonna put out the fires," Trump said, when asked if he was concerned about a second wave of the virus. "We're not going to close the country, we're going to put out the fires.There could be, whether it's an ember or a flame, we're gonna put it out. But we're not closing our country."

Go deeper... Trump: It's "possible" some lives will be lost to coronavirus due to U.S. reopening

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
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."

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

2 TikTok stars charged for L.A. "mega-parties"

Bryce Hall and Blake Gray in Los Angeles, California. Photo: fupp/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

TikTok influencers Blake Gray and Bryce Hall face criminal charges for hosting "mega-parties" in the Hollywood Hills despite a city ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer described the charges as a part of a "crackdown" on house parties that pose a risk to public health.

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