May 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Top White House brass now required to wear face masks

Jared Kushner and Adm. Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing testing, wear masks at the White House during President Trump's news conference Monday afternoon. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

More than a month after recommending Americans wear face masks in public, the White House is taking its own advice.

Why it matters: Not even the West Wing — which now tests people once a day to prevent President Trump from exposure — is immune to this contagion.

  • "The request does not apply to offices, however, and President Trump is still unlikely to wear a mask or face covering, aides say. Vice President Pence was spotted on the grounds of the White House on Monday without a mask, and it is unclear if aides will wear masks in the Oval Office." (WashPost)

Between the lines: The White House memo describes masks as "an additional layer of protection." Few in the West Wing had been wearing masks.

  • In an interview for "Axios on HBO" that airs tonight at 11 p.m. ET/PT, Pence said the administration would be listening to the White House doctor on the issue. See a clip.

The big picture: A growing cadre of those running the coronavirus response are now doing their jobs from quarantine.

  • Three top health officials are in self-isolation, including Anthony Fauci, CDC director Robert Redfield and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn — after coming into contact with people who may have been exposed.
  • So is Sen. Lamar Alexander, who will remotely chair a hearing this week with Fauci, Redfield and Hahn.
  • Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, who is married to Trump aide Stephen Miller, tested positive last week.
  • One of Trump's valets also tested positive a day prior.

Go deeper

Where the CDC went wrong with its coronavirus response

Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mishandled the coronavirus pandemic, sowing mistrust among health experts and the public, according to a sweeping report by the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's been reported that a faster and more organized response from the federal government could have saved thousands of lives.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,530,067 — Total deaths: 386,392 — Total recoveries — 2,820,488Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 1,851,520 — Total deaths: 107,175 — Total recoveries: 479,258 — Total tested: 18,214,950Map.
  3. Tech: Telemedicine leads on coronavirus innovations.
  4. Business: Senate passes bill to ease PPP loan restrictions
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine failed to prevent coronavirus infections Concerns about at-home testing — WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trial.
  6. Protests: The biggest crisis since 1968 — in the midst of a pandemic.
Updated 7 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.