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

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Evan Vucci / AP

By this point Americans have grown accustomed to President Trump's pattern of making wild claims, searching for justification, and even enlisting his surrogates as public defenders. Here are his most explosive claims so far...

Inauguration crowds
  • Trump's claim: That the media lied about the crowd size at Inauguration, which Trump said — in a speech at the CIA — was wildly underreported. His claim was amped up by Sean Spicer, who said "this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period — both in person and around the globe."
  • His evidence: Sean Spicer was trotted out to cite photos and metro ridership. Spicer then claimed photographic evidence was unfair, because of ground coverings on the mall. Trump quietly inflamed the claims, reaching out to the head of the National Parks Service for any photographic confirmation. Those photos were eventually obtained by BuzzFeed.
Voter fraud
  • Trump's claim: That millions of people illegally voted in the 2016 election. Trump claimed this after his election, and again after Inauguration Day.
  • His evidence: Once again, Spicer came to the president's defense, saying in January: "It was a comment he made on a longstanding belief… He believes what he believes based on the information he's been provided." Trump has since doubled down, labeling double registration as an example of how people can commit such fraud. While voter fraud does happen in very isolated cases, there is no evidence of fraud on the scale described by Trump.
Obama wiretapping
  • Trump's claim: That Obama "wiretapped" Trump Tower.
  • His evidence: The president has yet to point at definitive evidence for his claims, which reportedly came after he read a Breitbart aggregation of a Mark Levin radio show. While those allegations date back to reporting that the Obama administration sought a FISA warrant to monitor members of the Trump campaign, FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Michael Rogers both have shot down Trump's claims.
British spying
  • The claim: That British intelligence services helped with the alleged wiretapping operation.
  • His evidence: This one gets even more dicey, as it started with Fox News pundit Andrew Napolitano citing anonymous sources, and having his claims repeated by Spicer. Trump had his own say in the matter, joking about it in a press conference with Angela Merkel. There has thus far been no substantiated evidence that GCHQ played any role in monitoring the Trump team.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.