Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping dined at Mar-a-Lago tonight with their wives and about 20 other people, including Ivanka Trump, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, Wilbur Ross, and Reince Priebus, per a pool report. Trump sidestepped questions about Syria and North Korea, but said of the conversations with Jinping so far:

We had a long discussion already. So far, I have gotten nothing. Absolutely nothing. But we have developed a friendship. I can see that.

One key takeaway: Kushner sat by the Chinese couple, but Bannon was at the end of the table, just days after being sidelined from the National Security Council and amid reports of a rift with the president's son-in-law.

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

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