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Memo from the White House physician. Photo: Wayne Partlow/AP

The coronavirus' threat to America is no longer confined by geography or demographics.

Why it matters: With the positive test for President Trump, the risks are real and immediate.

National security: Administration officials recognize that China and other powers know the U.S. is distracted, and could use this as a window for adventurism or even aggression.

  • Hotspots around the world are on fire, including China's escalation of territorial disputes in the South China Sea — as well as a border standoff between China and India the world's two most populous countries.

Economic: After summer signs of life, the economy is struggling again, with tens of thousands of layoffs this week by Disney and airlines.

  • Now, with markets racked by uncertainty, businesses won't be getting the signals they need to encourage reopening — let alone return to semi-normal.

Social: So many Americans had gotten lazy about virus protection, in part because huge swaths of the public felt untouched by it.

  • That's gone. The virus penetrated the most secure house in the world. Anyone who feels safe from the virus is foolish.
  • Any stigma that went with masks — always unfounded — should vanish.

Political: With 32 days to go before an election that both sides call the most vital in American history, the incumbent, age 74, is temporarily off the campaign trail.

  • The challenger — Joe Biden, 77 — has been super-cautious about his public appearances, and now has a host of new questions about his own plans.
  • Everything, including the three remaining debates, is now on uncharted terrain.

What's next: Those are all risks now.  If the president were to show symptoms, the disruption would multiply even further.

  • The next Trump-Biden debate is 13 days away — 14 days from the moment Trump said he'd quarantine.

Go deeper:

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Go deeper

Jan 8, 2021 - Health

Biden to release nearly all available COVID-19 vaccine doses to the public

Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to release nearly all available coronavirus vaccine doses when he takes office, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Releasing nearly all doses would allow more people to get vaccinated with at least one dose. At the moment, the Trump administration is withholding half of U.S. vaccine production to ensure recipients receive their second dose, which is required by both the Moderna and Pfizer shots to ensure 95% efficacy.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.

Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona GOP's private recount of 2020 election confirms Biden's win

Contractors working on behalf of the GOP examine and recount 2020 ballots at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix in May. Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

In an odd coda to the 2020 election, private contractors conducting a GOP-commissioned recount in Arizona confirmed President Biden’s win in Maricopa County.

Why it matters: The unofficial, party-driven recount has been heavily covered on cable news as part of former President Trump's continued effort to sow doubt about the election result.