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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services, which has been at the forefront of the Trump administration's coronavirus response, was hit with a cyberattack over the weekend, Bloomberg News first reported and Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The attack comes in the midst of the Trump administration's efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 4,000 people in the U.S.

What they're saying: “We are aware of a cyber incident related to the Health and Human Services computer networks and the federal government is investigating this incident thoroughly," White House National Security Council spokesperson John Ullyot told Axios. 

  • "HHS and federal government cybersecurity professionals are continuously monitoring and taking appropriate actions to secure our federal networks. HHS and federal networks are functioning normally at this time.”
  • HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said: "On Sunday, we became aware of a significant increase in activity on HHS cyber infrastructure and are fully operational as we actively investigate the matter. Early on while preparing and responding to COVID-19, HHS put extra protections in place. We are coordinating with federal law enforcement."
  • It was not immediately clear who was behind the incident.

Meanwhile on Sunday, false text messages began circulating disinformation that the Trump administration was preparing for a national quarantine, something the NSC declared as "FAKE," late Sunday night.

  • It is not clear whether the messages were tied to the cyberattack, but the administration is investigating whether the two are related, according to a Trump administration official.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from HHS.

Go deeper

Heat wave enveloping West will shatter records, spark wildfires

The sun sets behind power lines in Rosemead, California on June 14, 2021, amid an early season heatwave across much of California this week. Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A dangerous and widespread mid-June heat wave is bringing blowtorch-like heat, skyrocketing power demand, and “critical” wildfire danger to much of the West Tuesday through this weekend.

Why it matters: The heat is building in a region that is experiencing a record drought, leading to dangerous fire weather conditions, straining electrical grids, and causing water supplies to dwindle further. The heat itself may prove deadly.

Politico's top editor leaving for NBC

Screenshot: Youtube

Politico’s top editor Carrie Budoff Brown is joining NBC in a high-level executive position at the network that includes overseeing the "Meet the Press" franchise, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Budoff Brown has been with Politico since its earliest days in 2007 and is admired among newsroom staff. Her departure will be a major loss to the organization.

Bored of binging: Weekly streaming releases on the rise

Expand chart
Data: Parrot Analytics; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Consumers and streamers are gravitating towards shows that are released weekly, as opposed to binge-watching shows that are released all-at-once, according to data provided exclusively to Axios from Parrot Analytics.

Why it matters: Streamers are no longer competing against traditional TV for consumers attention — they're competing against each other. Weekly releases help reduce subscriber churn.

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