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Marine One carrying President Trump back to the White House on Oct. 5. Photo: Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty Images

The White House said Tuesday it has had "hospital-grade disinfection policies" since March, as it outlined the residence's health and safety precautions in a new memo that follows President Trump's return from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday.

Why it matters: The memo comes amid a botched response to the cluster of cases within the White House, which jeopardized the health of the president and his staff and set a poor example in a country that's already done a terrible job handling the virus, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

Details: Staff in the residence who have direct contact with the president and first lady will wear full PPE and be tested daily, while support staff will be tested every 48 hours.

  • Residence staff in March were given "sanitization and filtration systems" to use in their homes "to further protect them and their family members" from the virus.
  • Staff members were required to wear a mask "at all times" starting in April, the memo says.

What they're saying: The White House says it has led workshops for workers to have their concerns addressed, significantly reduced staff, and has encouraged teleworking as much as possible. Sanitization and filtration systems have also been installed.

  • "The health of Residence staff members and their families are a paramount concern to the First Family," the memo reads.
  • "In addition to support from the Medical Unit, the Residence has hired independent health consultants who are available to check on staff and their families, facilitating ancillary testing as needed."
  • "The Residence also hired a 'well-being' consultant, which staff members can speak to anonymously, specifically to focus on mental health concerns."

Where it stands: White House aides have advised Trump to avoid the Oval Office and have made arrangements for him to work in the Diplomatic Reception Room, two White House officials tell Axios.

Go deeper: With Trump's return, risks rise in the West Wing

Go deeper

Jan 14, 2021 - Health

WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins

Health workers at a cordoned-off section of the international airport in Wuhan, China, as the World Health Organization team arrives on Thursday. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

A World Health Organization team of researchers arrived in Wuhan, China, Thursday ahead of their investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Driving the news: Dominic Dwyer, a Sydney virologist based who's among the scientists on the visit, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation they don't expect to find a "patient zero." "But we may have a much better indication of whether the virus truly started in Wuhan," he said.

Members of Congress must pass through metal detectors to access House floor

U.S. Capitol Police installing a metal detector outside the doors of the House of Representatives on Jan. 12. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Members of the House of Representatives must now pass through metal detectors before entering the chamber, according to a memo from acting House Sergeant at Arms Timothy Blodgett.

Why it matters: Previously, members were able to enter the chamber without any security screening. The unprecedented measures comes less than a week after the violent assault on the Capitol building by a pro-Trump mob and as some GOP House freshmen have inquired about carrying guns into the Capitol.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 13, 2021 - Health

Why COVID demands genetic surveillance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A seemingly more transmissible coronavirus variant is threatening the world — and exposing the U.S.' lackluster genetic surveillance.

Why it matters: A beefed-up program to sequence the genomes of infectious disease pathogens infections could help the U.S. identify dangerous new coronavirus variants — and get the jump on pathogens that could ignite the pandemics of the future.