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President Trump during a news conference on July 23. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Trump administration is sending increased personal protective equipment, coronavirus test kits and top health officials like Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx to coronavirus hotspots across the U.S. as part of a campaign called the “Embers Strategy," White House officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: The push is part of a larger effort to show that President Trump is taking the pandemic seriously, something White House officials describe as a "renewed focus."

  • The new campaign comes as top Trump advisers have told the president to concentrate his coronavirus messaging on progress with vaccines and therapeutics in an effort to shift the focus of the election conversation to who would be better at reviving the economy.
  • Its name, the “Embers Strategy," is meant "to highlight the risk level of 'embers' to decrease the likelihood of 'fires,'" a senior White House official said.

Details: Public health surrogates will appear on local and regional television and radio to educate the public on mitigation tactics, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and staying home when ill.

  • They will focus on areas reporting positive rates between 5% and 10% to prevent them from slipping into a "hot zone" category of above 10% positive rates.
  • The Trump administration is expecting to land around 200 media segments over the next two weeks, as Axios reported on Sunday.

Other administration surrogates include:

  • Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services.
  • Jerome Adams, surgeon general.
  • Robert Redfield, CDC director.
  • Stephen Hahn, FDA commissioner.
  • Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator.

The big picture: Multiple cities are already receiving the messaging, including Los Angeles, Cleveland, Washington, D.C., Denver, Portland and Milwaukee.

  • The U.S. has reported 4.4 million cases and more than 150,000 deaths from the virus since the start of the pandemic, according Johns Hopkins University data. At least 16 states have reported single-day case records in July.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Nov 7, 2020 - Health

Defense Department sends medical teams to El Paso as COVID-19 cases surge

An attendant talks to a person waiting in their car at a coronavirus testing site at Ascarate Park in El Paso. Photo:Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense has deployed three U.S Air force Medical Specialty Teams to El Paso to help officials cope with a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday.

Why it matters: El Paso currently has 23,702 active COVID-19 cases, including 1,300 new cases reported on Friday, per the city's health department. At least 1,049 coronavirus patients have been hospitalized, including 311 who are in the ICU.

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.