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How Jill Biden changes the classroom reopening conversation

In Dr. Jill Biden's speech from a classroom where she once taught, she took on the issue of reopening schools safely, acknowledging the yearning many families have for a return to learning.

Why it matters: This could help scramble President Trump's message that Republicans want to open while Democrats want to stay shut. Jill Biden wants to open, too, but it has to be safe.


Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Del., gave her a vehicle to talk to parents everywhere who are worrying about how to protect their kids.

  • "This quiet is heavy," she said with a flag and empty desks in the background. "You can hear the anxiety that echoes down empty hallways."

Jill Biden invoked themes of healing a family hit by tragedy, hoping they translate to Joe Biden healing the nation.

  • "How do you make a broken family whole?" she said. "The same way you make a broken nation whole: With love and understanding, small acts of kindness, with bravery, with unwavering faith."

Jill Biden's humanizing appearance could help inoculate her husband from some GOP attacks.

  • She talked about "rowdy Sunday dinners" and "silly arguments."
  • And nights when she was "studying for grad school, grading papers under the pale yellow kitchen lamp, the dinner dishes waiting in the sink."

Managing editor David Nather contributed reporting.

"A long way to go": Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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Beijing draws Chinese companies even closer

Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping announced last week that the party must strengthen its leadership over private companies, and that entrepreneurs must meet the party's needs. 

Why it matters: Xi's new announcement will increase fears that Chinese businesses may serve as a Trojan horse for the CCP.

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Trump to meet with Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa in Florida on Friday

President Trump has arranged to meet with shortlisted Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa during a campaign visit to Florida on Friday, according to two sources familiar with his plans.

What we're hearing: Sources who know both Trump and Lagoa say they still expect the president to pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but they view the Lagoa meeting as a wild card because they say she has a charismatic personality that would appeal to Trump.

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The U.S. now has more then 200,000 coronavirus deaths

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Whatever contextyou try to put this in, it is a catastrophe of historic proportions — and is yet another reminder of America's horrific failure to contain the virus.

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In UN address, Trump says China "unleashed this plague onto the world"

President Trump used a virtual address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his response to the coronavirus and call on other countries to “hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

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Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick on Saturday

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he plans to announce his Supreme Court pick on Saturday.

Why it matters: Republicans are moving fast to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which would tilt the balance of the high court in conservatives' favor and have lasting impact on climate policy, immigration and the Affordable Care Act. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who met with the president this week, is a frontrunner for the job.

Wall Street fears stimulus is doomed

The fight over a new Supreme Court justice will take Washington's partisan bickering to a new level and undermine any chance for needed coronavirus relief measures before November's election, Wall Street analysts say.

What we're hearing: "With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, the level of rhetorical heat has increased, if that seemed even possible," Greg Staples, head of fixed income for the Americas at DWS Group, tells Axios in an email.

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