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President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

President Trump indicated Friday he’s unlikely to take major steps to prop up oil prices and help an industry imploding as coronavirus chokes oil demand.

Why it matters: The pressure is now on for a planned Monday meeting of OPEC and other producing nations to strike a deal absent big action by the U.S. government. If that falls through, the industry could plunge even further into the abyss. Prices, now hovering below $30 a barrel, could breach $10, some experts say.

Driving the news: After meeting with oil-industry executives Friday afternoon to discuss options to help the ailing sector, Trump seemed to only endorse finding more places to store oil.

  • That move would be a small and fleeting band-aid.
  • Trump also said he isn’t thinking of imposing tariffs on oil imports as of now, an idea pushed by some domestic producers.
  • The industry itself is divided on the scope of help the government should offer.

The big picture: As the pandemic threatens lives around the world, it’s shutting down a global economy driven by oil consumption. This, along with a related price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, is sending oil prices into a tailspin and producers scrambling to stay afloat.

What they’re saying: Despite tweeting earlier this week that he had talked to leaders of both Saudi Arabia and Russia, Trump suggested Friday that he wants to stay out of it. “Ultimately the marketplace will take care of it. I think they are going to work out their problem fairly quickly,” the president said.

What we’re watching: Whether Texas or other producing states bypass the federal government to try to hash out a deal to curtail production.

What to watch: Monday's virtual meeting is planned with Saudi Arabia, other members of the Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries, Russia — collectively known as OPEC+ — and possibly other producing nations.

Go deeper: Trump calls to fill up more places with oil

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.

40 mins ago - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase heads to Wall Street

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go public today at what could be a valuation north of $100 billion.

Why it matters: This gives crypto a Wall Street seal of legitimacy, after an early existence marred by ties to illicit goods.