After U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said her government had concluded it is "highly likely" that the Kremlin was behind the nerve agent attack on ex-Russia spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, President Trump said he'll condemn Russia if he agrees with the U.K.'s findings after reviewing them.

The backdrop: Rex Tillerson got out ahead of the White House, saying last night that Russia was "clearly" responsible, after Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to point the finger. Now Tillerson is out, and Trump is backing off that position, though he did suggest that he'd be inclined to believe the U.K. assessment.

Why it matters: Theresa May gave Russia until Wednesday to provide an explanation as to how a weapon it produced came to be used in an attempted murder on U.K. soil, and warned there would be serious repercussions if no explanation was forthcoming. She will be counting on U.S. support on this issue.

The latest: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow "is not to blame." Trump is scheduled to speak with May today.

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Stimulus outlook takes a hit even as coronavirus cases skyrocket

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic is getting worse, and the question is whether the economic recovery will go with it.

Why it matters: America adding 7.5 million jobs over the last two months pales in comparison to 20+ million lost over the two months prior.

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Texas governor mandates face masks in public spaces

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Thursday requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public in counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: It's a dramatic reversal by the Republican governor that underscores the severity of the outbreak in Texas, which set a single-day record on Wednesday with more than 8,000 confirmed new cases. On June 3, Abbott issued an executive order banning local governments from imposing fines on people who don't wear masks in public.

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Top business leaders urge White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines

A man walks past a Ramen restaurant in Los Angeles, California on July 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The heads of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, National Retail Federation and other top business organizations wrote an open letter on Thursday urging the White House coronavirus task force to work with governors to make face coverings mandatory in all public spaces.

Driving the news: An analysis led by Goldman Sachs' chief economist found that a national mandate requiring face coverings would "could potentially substitute for lockdowns that would otherwise subtract nearly 5% from GDP," the Washington Post reports.