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.

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Dave Lawler, author of World
48 mins ago - World

A hinge moment for America's role in the world

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Getty Images photo: Saul Loeb/AFP

The world may be living through the last gasps of America First — or just getting a taste of what's to come.

Why it matters: President Trump's message at this week's virtual UN General Assembly was short and relatively simple: global institutions like the World Health Organization are weak and beholden to China; international agreements like the Iran deal or Paris climate accord are "one-sided"; and the U.S. has accomplished more by going its own way.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 32,647,382 — Total deaths: 990,473 — Total recoveries: 22,527,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 7,053,171 — Total deaths: 204,093 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.