Show an ad over header. AMP

White House staff frustrated by lack of info on Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis

President Trump's aides aren't answering basic questions about "who knew what when" about his coronavirus diagnosis — and a lot of those questions are coming from inside the house.

Why it matters: Some current and former White House officials have been privately complaining about the reckless attitude internally toward social distancing and mask wearing, feeling they are being put at risk unnecessarily every day when they show up to work.

The White House has still not adequately explained why Trump went to a donor event in New Jersey on Thursday after learning that one of his closest aides contracted the virus. Even some top West Wing aides were left in the dark about the chain of events that started with Hope Hicks feeling symptoms and isolating on Air Force One on Wednesday, and culminated with the president's 1 a.m. tweet that he had tested positive.

  • "There have been plenty of rumors, but a complete lack of information from the top," a senior administration official said.
  • "No one can trust what they're hearing, because even what is being said publicly doesn't seem to add up."

Pressed on the timeline that led up to a Trump trip to New Jersey for fundraisers on Thursday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows — not wearing a mask — told reporters in the White House driveway:

  • "I'm not going to get into the ticktock," Meadows said. "I can tell you, in terms of Hope Hicks, we discovered that right as the Marine One was taking off yesterday."
  • "We actually pulled some of the people that had been traveling and in close contact. ... [W]e had already started the contact tracing."

Asked when President Trump knew about Hicks' diagnosis, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News' Harris Faulkner: "I don’t know the answer to that. I’m not going to get into an exact timeline."

  • As to the decision-making after Hicks quarantined on the plane on Wednesday night, McEnany said: "[I]mmediately when she got a positive result ...  there was contact tracing that was put into place."

Officials tell Axios that when McEnany briefed reporters from the podium on Thursday, she was unaware that Hicks had the coronavirus.

A White House official tells Alayna Treene that only a small circle of officials were informed of Hicks' diagnosis immediately: "[I]t has been our practice throughout this when it comes to the personal health information of staffers, non principals, we don't share or confirm those details."

  • That circle didn't include several of the administration officials who traveled with the president on Wednesday or Thursday — a decision that frustrated many in the White House.

Go deeper... Axios Re:Cap on the questions raised by Trump's positive test

New laws, new rules bring big changes to college sports

The college sports landscape could change more in the next six months than it has in the last 50 years, as the NCAA grapples with new competition, new laws and new rules.

How it works... 1. Startup leagues: Investors are flocking to new leagues that aim to compete with the NCAA, evidence of just how much opposition there is to the amateurism model — and how much belief there is in new ones.

Keep reading... Show less

Malaria vaccine from Oxford's COVID-19 team highly effective in early trials

A malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University was found to have "high-level efficacy" in phase II trials, according to a pre-print study released on Friday.

Why it matters: Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year, more than half of them children under the age of 5. Deaths have fallen in half over the past 20 years thanks to investment in prevention and drugs, but a truly effective malaria vaccine would represent one of the greatest victories in the history of public health.

Keep reading... Show less

87% of Americans are worried about inflation

Data: CivicScience; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Americans are growing more concerned about rising costs and are consistently boosting their inflation expectations, new data show.

Driving the news: A new survey from CivicScience shows 87% of those surveyed in a representative sample of U.S. adults say they are at least "somewhat concerned" about the increasing cost of household expenses (all numbers are rounded to the nearest percentage point).

Keep reading... Show less

SpaceX launches crew of four to the International Space Station

Four astronauts took flight to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon early Friday morning.

The big picture: This marks the third time SpaceX has launched people to space for NASA, helping the space agency end its reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft and rocket for trips to the space station.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden will unveil eye-popping new tax rates for wealthiest Americans

President Biden in the next few days will unveil eye-popping new tax rates for the wealthiest Americans —a top marginal income tax rate of 39.6% and a capital gains rate of 43.4%.

Why it matters: The proposal, to be announced ahead of Biden's address to Congress next Wednesday, is an opening bid for Hill negotiations.

Keep reading... Show less

The next generation of coronavirus vaccines won't come as quickly

A flood of cash from Operation Warp Speed helped coax a slew of biotech companies into the race for a coronavirus vaccine, but the incentives to keep working on new competitors won't be nearly as strong.

Why it matters: That initial flood of cash worked — it delivered multiple, highly effective vaccines in record time. In other disease areas, though, second- and third-generation vaccines usually become the dominant products. And the first COVID-19 vaccines aren't necessarily a great fit for the whole world.

Keep reading... Show less

The Biden climate doctrine emerges at summit

President Biden's climate summit is highlighting a White House approach that blends diplomacy, executive power, salesmanship and a few threats too.

  • Here are a few pillars of the emerging Biden doctrine.
Keep reading... Show less

Biden gets B- from progressive think tank on hiring industry insiders

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories