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White House physician refuses to answer when Trump last tested negative for COVID-19

White House physician Sean Conley refused to answer questions at a press briefing Monday about when President Trump last tested negative for COVID-19 or what his lung scans have shown, citing the medical privacy law HIPAA.

Why it matters: Conley's credibility has been called into question after he acknowledged withholding information from the press about Trump receiving supplemental oxygen on Friday.


  • Conley was also forced to walk back details surrounding the timeline of Trump's diagnosis on Saturday, and he had his optimistic assessment of the president's condition undermined by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows via an anonymous statement to the press corps.
  • White House communications director Alyssa Farah said Sunday that Conley withheld specific details and painted a more rosy outlook in order to "convey confidence" and "raise the spirits" of the president.

Driving the news: Asked when Trump last tested negative, Conley said that he doesn't want to "go backwards" and that "contact tracing, as I understand it, is being done. I'm not involved with that." Conley also declined to go into detail about how Trump will be able to safely quarantine at the White House.

Key exchange:

REPORTER: "Does the president have pneumonia or any inflammation in his lungs at all?"
CONLEY: "We've done routine standard imaging. I'm just not at liberty to discuss." 
REPORTER: "You're actively not telling us what those lung scans showed, just to be clear?"
CONLEY: "There are HIPAA rules and regulations that restrict me in sharing certain things for his safety and his own health and reasons."

Go deeper: Trump to continue coronavirus treatment after being discharged from Walter Reed

Defense makes closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Chauvin's defense attorney Eric Nelson opened his closing argument on Monday by reminding the jury that Derek Chauvin "does not have to prove his innocence."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

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Merrick Garland: Domestic terrorism is "still with us" and remains critical threat

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.

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"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

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European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

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81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

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NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

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