Mar 6, 2018

Who is Gary Cohn?

Gary Cohn. Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

President Trump's top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, is reportedly leaving the White House, the latest in a string of high-profile departures.

Why it matters: Per the NY Times, there isn't any "single reason" for his departure, but the announcement comes after Trump's tariffs decision, which Cohn had strongly argued against. He told Axios' Mike Allen in December that he wouldn't be resigning any time soon, but that was before a bitter Oval Office tariff fight last week.

  • Cohn is former president and COO of Goldman Sachs. He was friendly with Jared Kushner before Trump took office.
  • He was been a candidate to move to other roles over the past year, making Trump's short list for Fed chair and being floated as a possible chief of staff.
  • He is a Democrat, though Vanity Fair reports he was never "particularly enamored" by President Barack Obama.
  • He was the Trump administration's point man on tax reform, along with Steve Mnuchin.
  • He almost resigned after Trump's response to Charlottesville, saying: "As a patriotic American, I am reluctant to leave my post...But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks."

Go deeper

What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 640,589 — Total deaths: 29,848 — Total recoveries: 137,270.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 112,468 — Total deaths: 1,841 — Total recoveries: 918.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month. New York moved its presidential primary to June 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day. In Spain, over 1,300 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump considers quarantine for states near epicenter of U.S. coronavirus outbreak

President Trump speaks to the press on March 28 in Washington, DC. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — areas congruent with the New York metro area, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

Reality check: These states have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing to combat COVID-19. The governors of New York and New Jersey issued statewide stay-at-home orders last week, and non-essential businesses in Connecticut were ordered to close as of this Monday.