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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Trump puts on a miners hard hat during a campaign rally in West Virginia. Photo: Steve Helber / AP

In early April — nearly eight months ago — President Trump told the New York Times: "[W]e're going to have a very big infrastructure plan. And bill. And it's going to come soon. And I think we'll have support from Democrats and Republicans."

  • It's late November, and we're still waiting.

Senior administration officials met last week in the Roosevelt Room to discuss when they might finally turn the president's infrastructure promises into reality, and how a communications plan might be developed.

  • Two sources who were present said Gary Cohn barely spoke during the meeting, which included officials such as D.J. Gribbin, who leads the White House's infrastructure drive.
  • Per one source, White House political director Bill Stepien said the group needed to consider the midterm elections when deciding when to finally make their big push. Some in the White House are skeptical that infrastructure will drive Republican voters to the polls.

Bottom line: The White House doesn't seem any closer to having an infrastructure bill than it was six months ago. When I asked one senior official when infrastructure would happen, he laughed and said: "Good question!"

  • When I asked the White House about this story, a spokeswoman listed a number of infrastructure-related accomplishments in lieu of the big bill, including moving forward on the Keystone pipeline and having federal agencies speed up the permitting process for builders.
  • The spokeswoman said: "We'll be ready to move forward on infrastructure legislation as soon as Congress is, but we're not waiting on them to get started on the bigger picture."

What's next: Lots of Very Important Meetings.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
10 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

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