Where Things Stand: Meadows Isn’t Done

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WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows arrives to the White House on March 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to attend a departure ceremony f... WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 28: Acting White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows arrives to the White House on March 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to attend a departure ceremony for the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is sailing to New York City to aid in the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 8, 2020 11:31 a.m.
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Newly minted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was behind the decision to replace the White House press secretary with one of President Trump’s most ardent defenders on his reelection campaign.

And he’s not stopping there.

According to a new report in the New York Times, Stephanie Grisham’s transition back to the first lady’s office is just the first of a series of personnel changes the former congressman plans to make in his new role. Meadows reportedly butted heads with Grisham and he pushed her out of the role over concerns that others in the White House had raised about her, according to the Times.

Meadows also plans to make changes in the office of legislative affairs and has already booted at least one deputy from the office in the week he’s been in the White House. Meadows is, unsurprisingly, working closely with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, an important ally for anyone new to the White House to have. Kushner’s distaste for former White House chief of staff John Kelly was a crucial part of why he didn’t last long.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Tierney Sneed is writing about the ruling by a federal judge in Florida who ordered that the state couldn’t ban an otherwise eligible ex-felon from voting just because he or she hasn’t paid back the financial obligations in his or her sentencing.

Kate Riga and Josh Kovensky are working on a story about FEMA seizures of medical supplies in New Jersey. Kate is also writing about Florida election officials’ effort to warn the Republican governor about the impact a second COVID-19 wave could have on the November election.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) dropped his 2020 presidential bid just one day after voters in Wisconsin were asked to vote in person as the country grapples with the spread of the coronavirus. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee to face Trump in November. We’ll keep an eye out for remarks from Sanders this afternoon.

The coronavirus curve is flattening, but don’t get too complacent, America. Dr. Deborah Birx warned on Wednesday that if people stop following the 30-day social distancing guidelines, there could be a “very acute second wave very early.”

Meanwhile, the President is feeling optimistic about the ventilator supply crisis, claiming that hospitals are in “great shape” with regards to the life-saving machines. During an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump explained that he felt confident in the U.S.’s ventilator supply because Hannity has said on his show that there are plenty to go around. We’ll continue watching Trump’s efforts to downplay various COVID-19 threats.

Today’s Rundown

1:45 p.m. ET: Trump will have a phone call with state, local and tribal officials in the Oval Office.

2:30 p.m. ET: Trump will host a phone call with faith leaders.

5:00 p.m. ET: The White House coronavirus task force will hold it’s press briefing.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Possible Developments In The Treatment Of Acute COVID-19 — Josh Marshall

What We Are Reading

Life, Death, And John Prine — Jayson Greene

Europe: Balcony Music In A Time Of 21st-Century Pandemic — Destiny Rogers

Protester Arrested At NYC COVID-19 Field Hospital Run By Anti-Gay Evangelist — Brooke Sopelsa

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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