Oct 13, 2018

Wilbur Ross backtracks on census immigration question

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

In a court filing released Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross changed his reasoning of how he came to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census questionnaire, now saying former chief strategist Steve Bannon was a part of the discussion, contradicting his prior accounts.

Why it matters: Ross originally said the citizenship questions was to help the Department of Justice enforce the Voting Rights Act. Critics say adding the question would undercount the number of immigrants in the U.S., as people may be afraid to answer it honestly. Population shifts tracked by the census have major ramifications in redistricting boundaries for House districts.

In the filing, per The New York Times, Bannon told Ross to contact Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state that Trump hired to investigate unsubstantiated claims that "millions of illegal immigrants cast ballots for Hillary Clinton in 2016."

The latest: Democrats are now calling out Ross, arguing that he broke the law by lying to Congress back in March about his reasoning for including the question in the census.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 786,291 — Total deaths: 37,820 — Total recoveries: 166,088.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 164,620 — Total deaths: 3,170— Total recoveries: 5,943.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  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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World coronavirus updates: World Bank warns economic pain unavoidable

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has caused a "global shock" and significant economic pain "seems unavoidable in all countries," the World Bank said in an economic update for
East Asia and the Pacific on Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 786,000 and the death toll exceeded 37,800 early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 3,000

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

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 3,000 late Monday.

The state of play: There were more than 164,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. early Tuesday — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. The COVID-19 death toll stood at 3,170. The number of recoveries had risen to more than 5,900.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health