Where Things Stand: The Long Lost Briefing

This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany answers questions during a brief appearance in the White House briefing room on April 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. McEnany answered a range of qu... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany answers questions during a brief appearance in the White House briefing room on April 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. McEnany answered a range of questions related primarily to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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May 1, 2020 1:01 p.m.
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After her predecessor rounded out her tenure as White House press secretary without holding a single press briefing, Kayleigh McEnany will hold one of those now-rare Q&A’s with reporters from the White House podium today.

McEnany teased reporters earlier this week when she was asked about holding a formal briefing: “Never say never,” she said Thursday. Just hours later the White House social media director announced on Twitter McEnany would shoot her first shot from the podium today at 2:00 p.m. ET.

It’s pretty early in her time in this position to take such a step. Trump will surely be watching to gauge her ability to defend him in front of the press. He did it with her other predecessors who actually dared to field questions from reporters — Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Sean Spicer. And for the media-obsessed president who would likely rather just serve as his own White House press secretary, this performance will surely be a crucial determinant of her future in the administration, but also in his orbit.

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

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Matt Shuham is digging into this wild story. A hint before you click: the cast of characters include Jerome Corsi, a right-wing doctor who’s been hyping an anti-malaria drug to cure COVID-19 and federal prosecutors.

Josh Kovensky is working on a story about the ties between heart symptoms and COVID-19.

Kate Riga is writing about Trump’s weigh-in on the armed protests in Michigan against the stay-at-home order.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Former Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden finally addressed a sexual assault allegation that’s gained attention in recent weeks during an interview on “Morning Joe” this morning. He unequivocally denied the allegation, but refrained from smearing the accuser, Tara Reade, or suggesting that she had an ulterior motive for coming forward. Just before the interview Biden also released a personal statement denying the allegation and directing the secretary of the Senate to ask the National Archives for any record of the complaint Reade alleges she filed.

It is worth noting Reade claims she filed a complaint about sexual harassment, not the alleged assault. We will continue following this story as it unfolds.

If You Read Anything On COVID-19 Today, Read This

Josh Kovensky reports on Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) recent decision to enlist the National Guard and his state police force to guard the state’s supply of 500,000 coronavirus tests, which were procured from South Korea. Hogan is apparently concerned the supplies will be seized by the federal government and recently told the Washington Post in a video interview that the materials are being protected in an undisclosed location.

Earlier coverage of COVID-19 related supply chain issues and seizures:

Today’s Rundown

12:30 p.m. ET: Trump will have lunch with the vice president in the private dining room

2:00 p.m. ET: White House press briefing.

4:15 p.m. ET: Trump will attend a presidential recognition ceremony

5:00 p.m. ET: Trump will travel to Camp David.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Armed Protesters Enter Michigan Capitol While Lawmakers Debate COVID Stay-At-Home Order — Kate Riga

What We Are Reading

The Senate: Looking Beyond The “Core Four” — Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman

Stop Yelling At Runners For Not Wearing Masks! — Shannon Palus

Georgia’s Experiment In Human Sacrifice — Amanda Mull

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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