Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Monday that the "decision to open up the states" following shutdown measures taken to stop the spread of the coronavirus lies with him, not governors.

Why it matters: The tweet undermines talking points from both the administration and conservatives on the coronavirus shutdown — and overstates Trump's constitutional authority.

  • It sets up a potential showdown between the president and the states as some in the White House eye May 1 to begin an economic restart.

What he's saying: Trump's tweet claims that a reopening call is "the decision of the President, and for many good reasons."

  • "With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!" he added.

Reality check: The federal government does not have the power to implement nationwide measures to stop the spread of the virus — or move toward a reopening — though the president has used his daily briefings and social media to influence governors' decisions.

  • Trump advisers told Axios on multiple occasions that the administration's "Slow the Spread" guidelines were intended to put pressure on governors — and that it is ultimately up to the states to determine shelter-in-place rules.
  • John Malcolm, a constitutional law expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, told AP earlier this month that Trump's comments on issuing and easing lockdowns "are just advisory."

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Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 30,919,638 — Total deaths: 959,332— Total recoveries: 21,152,996Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30p.m. ET: 6,799,141 — Total deaths: 199,474 — Total recoveries: 2,590,671 — Total tests: 95,108,559Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning.
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — 7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  6. World: England sets £10,000 fine for breaking self-isolation rules — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.

Arrest over letter to Trump containing poison ricin

President Trump returning to the White House from Minnesota on Sept. 18. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A suspect was arrested for allegedly "sending a suspicious letter" after law enforcement agents intercepted an envelope addressed to President Trump containing the poison ricin, the FBI confirmed in an emailed statement to Axios Sunday.

Details: The suspect, a woman, was arrested while trying to enter New York from Canada, law enforcement forces said.

Trump campaign goes all in on Pennsylvania

Trump poster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The president's campaign is placing more importance on Pennsylvania amid growing concern that his chances of clinching Wisconsin are slipping, Trump campaign sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, twice Wisconsin's number, actually has been trending higher in recent public and internal polling, a welcome development for the campaign.