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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House yesterday released the names of more than 200 CEOs and other business figures who it says will advise the administration on reopening America's economy.

The state of play: The group was assembled in the 24 hours before President Trump began reading the names of many of them, phonebook-style, during yesterday afternoon's press conference. Reporters were sent an expanded list later in the evening.

  • I touched base with several participants last night, none of whom yet knew any specifics of what they are being asked to do. Nor do they know working group structures, such as if there will be chairs or if they'll work only with industry peers.
  • "When it comes to something like this, you say 'yes' first and ask questions later," one explained.

Pro Rata myopia: Doug Leone of Sequoia Capital is the only venture capitalist on the list, unless you also include Mark Cuban or former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb (who's now part-time at NEA).

  • Private equity is represented by the Blackstone Group's Stephen Schwarzman and Vista Equity's Robert Smith, and tangentially by Wall Street investment bank CEOs and folks like Elliott Management's Paul Singer and Fidelity's Abigail Johnson.
  • Notably absent from the list are public health officials or major lab testing operators like Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp.
  • Two of the group's three economists, Art Laffer and Steve Moore, have been publicly arguing against paid medical leave and beefed-up unemployment benefits. They're worried it will "discourage work" and thus limit economic growth (seriously, I'm not making that up).

What the White House is saying: "These bipartisan groups of American leaders will work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity.  The health and wealth of America is the primary goal, and these groups will produce a more independent, self-sufficient, and resilient Nation."

But, but, but: A lot of this reopening talk is getting ahead of the health care realities, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.

  • The U.S. is still nowhere near where it needs to be on testing, particularly of asymptomatic people, let alone building up a tracking infrastructure.
  • As she puts it: "Given how much it has cost to lock the U.S. down once, it’s unlikely we’ll get another chance to get this right."

The bottom line: It makes sense to begin building a playbook so long as everyone accepts the schedule's fluidity. What to watch next is if this group becomes organized and is given deliverables, or if it's just for show.

Go deeper: The coronavirus outbreak will forever change the world

Go deeper

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.

McCarthy: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy" of Biden's win

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was asked Wednesday whether he was concerned about elevating Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to GOP leadership after she has promoted baseless claims about the election. He responded: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election."

Why it matters: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was ousted as House GOP conference chair earlier Wednesday — in a vote that McCarthy supported — over her continued criticisms of former President Trump and his lies about election fraud.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Gaza crisis: Casualties pile up with no signs of ceasefire from Israel, Hamas

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip leave their neighborhood on Wednesday following an explosion. Photo: li Jadallah/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is dispatching a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts.

The latest: The Israeli air force attacked a meeting of senior Hamas military leaders on Wednesday in Gaza and reported it had killed the Gaza City Brigade commander and the heads of Hamas’ cyber arm and weapons research and development department, along with at least three other senior officials.