By any standard, no matter how you look at it, the U.S. is losing its war against the coronavirus.
Why it matters: The pandemic is not an abstraction, and it is not something that’s simmering in the background. It is an ongoing emergency ravaging nearly the entire country, with a loss of life equivalent to a Sept. 11 every three days — for four months and counting.
President Trump on Friday evening commuted the sentence of his longtime associate Roger Stone, according to two senior administration officials. Stone in February was sentenced to 40 months in prison for crimes including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress.
Why it matters: The controversial move brings an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars. He had been scheduled to report to prison on July 14.
The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia on Friday denied Roger Stone, President Trump's former associate, a requested delay to his 4o-month prison sentence for lying to Congress during the Russia probe.
Why it matters: Stone is set to report for his sentence on July 14. Trump on Friday said he was "looking at" commuting Stone's sentence, adding his former aide and longtime confidant was "unfairly treated," according to the Washington Post.
13 states this week surpassed records set just last week for their highest number of coronavirus infections in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health department data. 16 states in total reported new highs.
The big picture: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't just due to increased testing — particularly where the number of cases has grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.
It feels like mid-March in America again. The coronavirus is surging, deaths are climbing and the country is dreading a wave of disruptions, less than four months since the first round started.
The big picture: Lingering under all the happy talk of future plans is the reality of this virus — which thrives in potential super-spreader conditions like mass gatherings.
It's often easier to socially distance in rural America, but it can simultaneously be more challenging to get medical care.
Axios Re:Cap digs into the pandemic's urban-rural divide with microbiologist Amber Schmidtke, who has found that coronavirus-related morbidity is higher in many of Georgia's rural counties than in Atlanta.
President Trump and Joe Biden are going back and forth over the former vice president's "buy American" economic proposal, which Trump claims Biden "plagiarized" from him.
Why it matters: Biden is directly challenging Trump and his "America First" agenda with the release of his latest plan, focused on economic recovery and re-investing in American manufacturing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon, citing security risks, told its employees Friday to uninstall social video app TikTok from any mobile devices they use to access their work email.
Why it matters: The move comes amid a broader backlash against TikTok, in part due to questions around possible ties to Beijing. TikTok is owned by Chinese tech firm ByteDance.