Nov 3, 2018

3. Trump: Democrats gaining control of the House "could happen"

President Donald Trump. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.

President Trump said at a campaign rally Friday in West Virginia that it's possible that the Democrats win the House this midterm election.

Why it matters: Trump has been rallying for Republican races across the country in a last-ditch push for Republican voters to turn out to the polls and vote in favor of the party to maintain control. Many of the candidates he is campaigning on behalf of are in tight races against their Democratic opponent. Trump said in West Virginia, the Democrats "will try to erase our gains and eradicate our progress. It’ll be bad for the country, the Democrats. And it could happen. Could happen."

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Chinese coronavirus test maker agreed to build a Xinjiang gene bank

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A leading Chinese gene sequencing and biomedical firm that said it would build a gene bank in Xinjiang is supplying coronavirus tests around the world.

Why it matters: U.S. officials are worried that widespread coronavirus testing may provide an opportunity for state-connected companies to compile massive DNA databases for research as well as genetics-based surveillance.

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Trump administration to ban Chinese airlines from flying to U.S.

An Air China aircraft landing in New York City in January 2020. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that Chinese passenger airlines will be banned from flying to the United States starting June 16.

Why it matters: Heated tensions between Washington and Beijing are now beginning to impact the airline industry, as the DOT has accused the Chinese government of preventing U.S. airlines from resuming flights to China after suspending them earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Esper says he does not support use of military forces to quell protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at a press briefing Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act, an 1807 law that permits the president to use active-duty troops on U.S. soil, in order to quell protests against racial injustice.

Why it matters: President Trump threatened this week to deploy military forces if state and local governments aren't able to squash violent protests. Axios reported on Wednesday that Trump is backing off the idea for now, but that he hasn't ruled it out.