Feb 20, 2018

White House answers for Trump's weekend tweets

Sanders at the podium. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders faced questions from reporters Tuesday after President Trump spent the weekend tweeting several times about the Russia probe and the Parkland school shooting.

"It's very clear that Russia meddled in the election ... It's also very clear that the Trump campaign didn't collude with the Russians."
— Sarah Sanders

On the Russia probe:

  • Trump didn't mean that the FBI missed the tip regarding the Florida shooter because the Bureau was preoccupied with the Russia investigation, though he linked the two, Sanders said.
  • "The president has been extremely tough on Russia." He has taken “a number of actions against Russia ... Obama was too weak," Sanders said.

On the Florida shooting:

  • The White House will hold a listening session on Wednesday with members of the Parkland community and individuals affected by the Sandy Hook and Columbine shootings to discuss safety in schools.
  • "The president supports not having the use of bump stocks ... We expect further action on that in the coming days."

On White House staffers:

  • "No decision within the memo will impact anything that Jared Kushner is working on," she said, referring to Chief of Staff John Kelly's changes to the White House security clearance process in the wake of Rob Porter's exit.
  • Trump still has confidence in national security adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster though he sent a tweet criticizing McMaster's public comments on the latest Mueller indictments.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 838,061 — Total deaths: 41,261 — Total recoveries: 174,115.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 177,452 — Total deaths: 3,440 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with other health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  4. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  5. In Congress: New York Rep. Max Rose deploys to National Guard to help coronavirus response.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Misinformation in the coronavirus age.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: White House studies models projecting virus peak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.

The state of play: The coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, but many states like Virginia and Maryland will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes two-minute antibody testing kit to detect coronavirus

Currently, it takes days to produce results from testing kits. Photo: Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency approval Tuesday for a serological testing kit produced by Bodysphere Inc. that can detect a positive or negative result for COVID-19 in two minutes.

Why it matters: Access to testing has improved in the U.S. thanks to commercial labs, but the average wait time for a patient's results is four to five days — with some reports of it taking more than a week.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health