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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Maria Van Kerkhove. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

A top American World Health Organization official argued in an interview with TIME that the agency has acted sufficiently throughout the coronavirus pandemic — despite the Trump administration's criticisms.

Why it matters: President Trump announced last week the U.S. would halt funding to the World Health Organization, which he blames for amplifying the pandemic's intensity. He said the group was not aggressive enough in tackling the virus early on — specifically in managing information coming out of China.

  • Trump said the WHO "failed to investigate credible reports … that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts."

WHO's technical lead for COVID-19, American infectious-disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, told TIME: "We don’t blindly accept data as-is. Things are reported to us, and then we scrutinize and ask and kick the tires. We always ask for more. That’s not unique to the situation and that’s not unique to China."

  • And Van Kerkhove noted that within the WHO, operations are more nuanced than "what is done publicly or what is done through Twitter."

Go deeper: 10 times Trump and his administration were warned about coronavirus

Go deeper

Jul 28, 2020 - World

China's consulates do a lot more than spy

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Every country spies. And many countries — including the U.S. — use their diplomatic outposts to do it. But for years, China has used its embassies and consulates to do far more than that.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's recent hardline stance against China's illicit consular activities is a public acknowledgment of real problems, but it comes at a time when U.S.-China relations are already dangerously tense.

Top economic regulators stressed by vacancies

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The boom times are all around us (from corporate deal sprees to the breakneck rise of cryptocurrency) — and the agencies in charge are stretched thin trying to police it.

Why it matters: Overwhelmed staff and a slew of vacant posts could set back President Biden's big regulatory agenda.

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley announces run for re-election

Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced on Friday that he's running for re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The GOP is looking to regain control of both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Several Republicans had urged the 88-year-old senator to run to avoid another retirement after five incumbent senators said they wouldn't seek re-election.

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