• 🔥 Daily Damage Report.

  • 🌍 Global: Total confirmed cases ~4,160,000; Total deaths: ~285,000; Total recoveries: ~1,434,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • 🇺🇸 U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~1,345,000; Total deaths: ~80,100; Total recoveries: ~216,000

  • 💰 Markets: Dow 📉; S&P 500 📈; Nasdaq 📈

  • 💻 Live Blog: New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NPR / CNBC / The Guardian / NBC News

  • 👑 Portrait of a President.

  • Trump sought a reopening but found the virus in the White House instead. A day after breaking his White House self-isolation for a cross-country trip meant to signal the country’s readiness to restart, Trump received word that one of his Oval Office valets tested positive for the virus. (CNN)

  • As deaths mount, Trump tries to convince Americans it’s safe to inch back to normal. The administration is struggling to expand the scale of testing to what experts say is necessary to reopen businesses safely, and officials have not announced any national plan for contact tracing. Trump and some of his advisers are prioritizing the psychology of the pandemic as much as, if not more than, plans to combat the virus, some aides and outside advisers said — striving to instill confidence that people can comfortably return to daily life despite the rising death toll. (Washington Post)

  • The White House race to contain coronavirus in its ranks: “It is scary to go to work.” With two White House staff members testing positive, some officials fear the disease is already spreading rapidly through the West Wing. Over the weekend, three members of the coronavirus task force went into quarantine or partial quarantine or took precautions to work from home more after finding out a top aide to Vice President Pence tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump’s military valet also tested positive. In the Senate, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), will go into quarantine in his home state “out of an abundance of caution” after one of his aides tested positive. (New York Times / Washington Post)


1/ Three members of the White House coronavirus task force will self-quarantine after possibly being exposed to the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci has begun a “modified quarantine” after he had “low risk” contact with a White House aide who tested positive last week for coronavirus. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, will also self-quarantine for 14 days. FDA chief Stephen Hahn has been in self-quarantine since Friday. Fauci tested negative for COVID-19 and is “actively monitoring his temperature and other health indicators.” (NBC News / CNN / CNN / Politico / CNN / CBS News)

  • Multiple members of the Secret Service have tested positive for COVID-19. According to Department of Homeland Security documents, there are at least 11 active cases at the agency, 23 members who have recovered, and an additional 60 employees who are self-quarantining. (Yahoo News)

  • Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with World War II veterans without masks. The veterans were not wearing masks. (Washington Post)

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield will testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee over video conference. The White House Office of Legislative Affairs sent a memo to all House and Senate committee staff directors last week that bars all members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force from appearing before a congressional committee without the permission of chief of staff Mark Meadows. (CBS News)

2/ Pence will not self-quarantine after his press secretary tested positive because he “has tested negative every single day.” During an event with GOP members, Trump suggested “the whole concept of tests isn’t great,” but said he was satisfied with the procedures in place to protect him and his top aides. Trump, however, appeared puzzled that the aide, Katie Miller, had contracted the virus “out of the blue” after testing negative several times during routine White House screening program put in place last month. Miller is married to one of Trump’s closest advisers, Stephen Miller, who is not expected to come into the White House for the foreseeable future. Stephen tested negative for the virus on Friday after his wife’s positive diagnosis earlier in the day. (CNN / Bloomberg / Washington Post)

3/ The White House encouraged staffers to come into the office, including the aides who travel with Trump and Pence. All White House staffers, however, received a conflicting memo, which instructed them to “practice maximum telework” and to “work remotely if at all possible.” The memo also told employees to quarantine for 14 days if they leave the Washington region and to report all travel. Trump, meanwhile, expressed concern that aides contracting coronavirus undercut his message that the outbreak was waning and states should begin reopening. Trump also reportedly asked why his valets weren’t ordered to wear masks before this week after one of his personal valets tested positive for the coronavirus. (Washington Post / CNN / New York Times)

  • White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett acknowledged that working in the White House is risky now that several staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, saying “It’s scary to go to work.” (Politico)

4/ The White House directed most officials – but not Trump – to wear masks at all times inside the building except when sitting at their desks. The memo also directs officials to restrict in-person visits to the White House unless they are necessary. Trump, meanwhile, tweeted that the “coronavirus numbers are looking MUCH better, going down almost everywhere” while accusing Democrats of not opening their states sooner because they are trying to hurt his re-election efforts. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / New York Times)

5/ Emails show that top White House officials buried CDC guidance for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic. The document, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” included detailed flow charts aimed at helping business owners, educators, and state and local officials navigate whether to reopen or remain closed. As early as April 10, CDC Director Robert Redfield had emailed the guidance to Trump’s inner circle: Jared Kushner, Kellyanne Conway, Joseph Grogan, assistant to the president for domestic policy, Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other task force members. White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said that the documents had not been approved by Redfield, but the new emails show that Redfield had cleared the guidance. (Associated Press)

  • 📌 Day 1204: The Trump administration refused to issue CDC guidelines drafted to give states and business owners detailed instructions on how to safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, calling the guidance “overly prescriptive.” The 17-page report, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help from faith leaders, business owners, educators, and state and local officials to provide detailed advice for making site-specific decisions related to reopening schools, restaurants, summer camps, churches, day care centers, and other institutions. It was supposed to be published last Friday, but agency scientists were told the guidance “would never see the light of day,” because the Trump administration had already”made clear that each state should open up in a safe and responsible way based on the data and response efforts in those individual states.” Several states, meanwhile, have already moved ahead with reopening despite not meeting the threshold criteria set by the administration’s previously-issued reopening guidelines, which call for a two-week downward trajectory in cases within a 14-day period. (Associated Press / ABC News / New York Times / Axios / CNN / NBC News)

  • ✏️The Trump administration cut funding for coronavirus researcher, jeopardizing possible COVID-19 vaccine. An American scientist who collaborates with the Wuhan Institute of Virology had his grant terminated in the wake of unsubstantiated claims that COVID-19 is either manmade or leaked out of a Chinese government lab. (CBS News)

  • ✏️ In the early days of the pandemic, the U.S. government turned down an offer to manufacture millions of N95 masks in America. Even today, production lines that could be making more than 7 million masks a month sit dormant. (Washington Post)

  • ✏️ Whistleblower exposes infighting and animus in Trump’s coronavirus response. The allegations suggest personal clashes influenced how the administration responded to the pandemic. (New York Times)

6/ Obama warned that the Justice Department’s decision to drop its prosecution of Michael Flynn puts “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.” In a private call with former members of his administration, Obama said that “There is no precedent that anybody can find for somebody who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” referring to Attorney General William Barr’s decision to drop charges against Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying in a January 2017 interview with the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to Washington during the presidential transition. Obama also called Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic “an absolute chaotic disaster” and “anemic.” (Yahoo News / CNN / Washington Post / New York Times)

  • More than 1,900 former Justice Department employees called on William Barr to step down as attorney general, asserting in an open letter that he had “once again assaulted the rule of law” by moving to drop the case against Michael Flynn. (Washington Post)

  • The former acting assistant attorney general for national security accused Attorney General William Barr of twisting her words to suggest that the FBI’s interview with Michael Flynn in 2017 was illegitimate. Mary McCord’s interview with Flynn was used by Barr and the DOJ as evidence that the FBI had no valid counterintelligence reason to interview Flynn. McCord claims her interview with Flynn was “constitutional, lawful and for a legitimate counterintelligence purpose,” but said Barr’s motion to dismiss the charges against Flynn “makes a contorted argument that Mr. Flynn’s false statements and omissions to the F.B.I. were not ‘material’ to any matter under investigation.” McCord added that her interview doesn’t support the DOJ’s conclusion that the interview shouldn’t have taken place, and said it was “disingenuous for the department to twist my words to suggest that it does.” (New York Times / Axios)

  • Pence: “I’d be happy” to see Flynn back in the government. (Axios)

7/ Trump spent Mother’s Day sending 126 tweets, retweets, and quote-tweets about the Russia investigations by the FBI and the House Intelligence Committee. Falling just 16 short of the single-day posting record he set during his impeachment trial in January, Trump spent much of his holiday bouncing between wishing everyone a “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” to railing against Obama, “60 Minutes,” Jimmy Kimmel, and Chuck Todd. The U.S. coronavirus death toll, meanwhile, crossed 80,000. (Axios / Vox / The Guardian / Washington Post)

poll/ 55% of Americans disapprove of protests against restrictions aimed at preventing the spread the coronavirus. 31% approve of the demonstrations. (Associated Press)


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