Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

As Americans face Hurricane Florence's landfall, President Trump inaccurately accused Democrats of fabricating Hurricane Maria's death toll to make him look bad.

The bottom line: The Carolinas will need the president and FEMA on their game, undistracted by cable news and past grudges

  • "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths ..."
  • "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico."

Go deeper: Our reality check on the death toll estimates.

Between the lines: Even Trump-aligned Florida Republicans shied away from his statements.

  • Gov. Rick Scott (running for Senate) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (running for governor) both publicly defended Puerto Rico's casualty estimates. Their state is now home to hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans who left after the storms.

What's next:

  • Florence will bring the storm surge equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane and an inland flooding threat of historic proportions.
  • In inland areas, more than 3 feet of rain may fall as the storm lumbers southwest into South Carolina through Saturday.
  • By early next week, heavy rains could spread up the spine of the Appalachians and reach the Mid-Atlantic states.

Go deeper: Our full storm coverage.

Go deeper

Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.

16 hours ago - Health

15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.