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Susan Walsh / AP

Although she hasn't entered into Washington politics, FLOTUS has been busy the past several weeks — suing for defamation, entertaining the Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan and opening the White House for tours.

  • Reading to kids: A couple weeks ago, Melania visited a pediatrics hospital in New York to read to the children there.
  • Throwing a party: Melania hosted the first White House ball of the administration... during the Oscars. "Mrs. Trump looks forward to putting on a phenomenal event. And the first lady's put a lot of time into this event that's going to occur... and I have a feeling that that's where the president and the first lady are going to be focused on, on Sunday night," Sean Spicer told reporters before the event.
  • Michelle's gardens: A spokesperson for Melania announced last month, "As a mother and as the first lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House Gardens, specifically the First Lady's Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden."
  • White House tours: The First Lady also announced that the White House will open again for public tours. "The White House is a remarkable and historic site and we are excited to share its beauty and history," she said in a statement, although Donald did most of the welcoming.
  • Lawsuit #1: She resubmitted her defamation lawsuit against the Daily Mail, who published a now-retracted article claiming Melania once worked for an escort service. Her lawyers changed some wording from the first lawsuit they filed because it sounded as if Melania was seeking to make money as First Lady. She's still requesting $150 million in damages.
  • Lawsuit #2: She settled another similar defamation suit last month against a blogger. Trump's lawyers have said the blogger agreed to pay a "substantial sum," according to CNN.
  • @FLOTUS: Melania has now tweeted 11 times, although she has yet to announce anything in regards to her promise during the campaign to fight bullying on social media.
  • One tweet was in response to being insulted by a NYT reporter: Model and actress Emily Ratajkowski tweeted that Jacob Bernstein called Melania a "hooker." The reporter was reprimanded and later apologized. Melania thanked Ratajkowski for standing up for her:
  • Mar-a-lago with the Abes: Melania joined her husband in Mar-a-lago to help host the Japanese Prime Minister and his wife...
Michael Ares / AP
  • The Israeli PM: Melania also helped host the Netanyahus...
Andrew Harnik / AP

Go deeper

38 mins ago - Health

U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record

Expand chart
Data: COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The United States reported 88,452 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, setting a single-day record, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The country confirmed 1,049 additional deaths due to the virus, and there are over 46,000 people currently being hospitalized, suggesting the U.S. is experiencing a third wave heading into the winter months.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. Sports: MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
  5. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

The norms around science and politics are cracking

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.