Charlie Neibergall / AP

The White House is working on an executive order that has "very, very strong" language on religious liberty, per Politico's Tim Alberta and Shane Goldmacher.

  • What's happening: The White House has invited conservatives to the White House on Thursday, and sources are telling Politico the original draft order, which leaked in early February, is nearly as tough as the first attempt.
  • What it does: Behaves like Indiana's RFRA, which allowed business to exempt themselves on religious grounds.
  • The winners: VP Pence and religious conservatives.
  • Cautionary: "Two senior administration officials confirmed the plan, though one cautioned that it hasn't yet been finalized, and noted that lawyers are currently reviewing and fine-tuning the draft language."
  • Foreshadowed: Leonard Leo told Axios' Jonathan Swan late last month that the White House wasn't backing off its promise to deliver wins for social conservatives.

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

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Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.