The Morning Dispatch: Is the Pandemic Emboldening Authoritarian Leaders?

Happy Thursday! As you scroll, you might notice something different about how we’re displaying the latest coronavirus data this morning. If you find it more helpful—that’s great! If you hate it, blame Declan. We’re always looking for ways to improve, so if you have thoughts, let us know in the comments.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Wednesday night, there are now 1,228,603 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (an increase of 24,124/2 percent since yesterday) and 73,431 deaths (an increase of 2,361/3.2 percent increase since yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 6 percent (the true mortality rate is likely lower, but it’s impossible to determine precisely due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 7,759,771 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States (215,443 conducted since yesterday), 15.8 percent have come back positive. Meanwhile, 189,910 have recovered from the virus. See our chart below:

  • Recordings of government conference calls obtained by Politico revealed that Trump administration health officials were deeply concerned about the state of the coronavirus pandemic in America even as the president called for reopenings to begin. And the Associated Press reports that a CDC blueprint for safe reopening has been shelved by White House.

  • A day after Vice President Mike Pence suggested the coronavirus task force would wind down by the end of May, President Trump reversed course, saying the task force will continue on indefinitely. “I thought we could wind it down sooner,” he said. “But I had no idea how popular the task force is until actually yesterday when I started talking about winding down.”

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