May 10, 2020 - Health

What to expect from the White House's coronavirus messaging this week

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House will try to push two main themes this week: "preparedness and confidence," per a senior official.

The big picture: President Trump's aides plan to hold several events to try to persuade the public that they're ready for a likely second wave of the virus this fall. In particular, they'll focus on testing capacity and access to personal protective equipment.

  • "Testing messaging will reflect how much we've ramped up our testing to meet states' needs and feel confident about our testing capacity going into the fall," said one senior White House official.
  • "The secondary message will be the American people can have confidence as they begin to go back out into the public square," the official added. "We will have governors in to highlight their safe reopen plans. We'll also highlight private-sector efforts to get the country to reopen safely."
  • Governors expected to visit Trump at the White House this week include North Dakota's Republican Gov. Doug Burgum and Colorado's Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. (Politico's Playbook was first to report these coming visits.)

Between the lines: The Trump administration was slow to get testing up and running, and many parts of the country still lack the testing capacity that public health experts say is needed to safely reopen. But they've scaled up capacity substantially in recent weeks.

The bottom line: Trump and some of his top advisers have grown impatient with the shutdown. Americans are overwhelmingly reluctant about going back to ordinary life, and the Trump administration will try to persuade them it can be done safely.

  • Yes, but: In many parts of the country, these fears are well-founded, and the virus' U.S. death toll is closing in on 80,000. And despite Trump's wishful musings that the virus will disappear on its own, public health experts say no end is in sight without a vaccine.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.