Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Mandy Gunasekara, who has been instrumental in crafting President Trump’s regulatory rollbacks on a range of air pollution standards, is leaving the Environmental Protection Agency to start a new political advocacy group defending those policies.

Driving the news: Gunasekara, deputy assistant administrator in EPA’s air office, is sending her resignation letter to Trump Friday, according to a copy viewed by Axios. 

What’s next: In her letter to Trump, Gunasekara didn’t get into details about her new organization other than to say it will defend “you and the many energy, regulatory and economic successes of your bold and pragmatic agenda.” It’s expected to be a nonprofit with a c(4) tax status, which means, among other things, that its donors can be anonymous. 

The big picture: Gunasekara, who describes herself in the letter as a conservative Mississippian, is one of several Trump administration officials in the environmental space who used to work for Sen. James Inhofe (R.-Okla.). Inhofe has been one of the most outspoken lawmakers who does not acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is a main driver of global warming.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump casts himself as chief defender of American history in divisive speech at Rushmore

President Trump spoke out against a "merciless campaign" to wipe out American history during a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore.

Why it matters: Trump's "dark and divisive" speech comes as states continue to hit new coronavirus records and a national reckoning against racial inequities pushes forward, The New York Times writes. Trump's public approval is faltering heading toward the November elections, and he made an appeal to his base at Friday's spectacle, per The Washington Post.

Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Drive-in movie theaters, the symbol of a bygone era before cellphones and constant distraction, are suddenly reemerging as a popular form of entertainment during the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: Indoor movie theaters are closed, but people still crave entertainment and a chance to get out of their houses. Watching a movie from the safety of a car is the next best thing.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 a.m. ET: 11,093,182 — Total deaths: 525,491 — Total recoveries — 5,890,052Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 a.m. ET: 2,795,163 — Total deaths: 129,437 — Total recoveries: 790,404 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  5. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.