Where Things Stand: The Rare Admission Of Error

This is your TPM early-afternoon briefing.
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. New York state will begin the nation's most aggressive COV... WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on April 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. New York state will begin the nation's most aggressive COVID-19 antibody testing campaign this week even as some states begin to loosen restrictions amid pressure to restart the economy. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) MORE LESS
May 4, 2020 12:56 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

In the Trump administration, officials are more likely to dig their heels into errors than admit any level of wrongdoing.

Not to give him too much credit, but Vice President Mike Pence did admit during last night’s highly performative Fox News town hall set directly in front of the Lincoln Memorial, that he should have worn a mask during his recent visit to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The images of the vice president and leader of the White House’s coronavirus task force bare faced in a clinic that mandates mask-wearing were shocking and evoked expected criticism.

The backlash clearly registered with Pence’s team. The next day, Pence was photographed wearing a mask during his tour of the General Motors Plant in Kokomo, Indiana. When asked to address the criticism on Sunday evening, Pence still said he didn’t think the face covering was “necessary,” but, “I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic,” he said.

It shouldn’t have to be worth noting that a member of the administration owned up to an irresponsible action, but alas, this is the Trump-era.

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

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Tierney Sneed reported this morning on the Justice Department’s decision to get involved in these cases sprouting up around the country in which churches are attempting to hold services amid stay-at-home orders. She is now looking into what the DOJ can actually accomplish in this fight and the likelihood that the efforts will be more bark than bite.

Josh Kovensky is reporting on the CDC’s latest attempt to track and calculate excessive deaths so the actual toll of the pandemic is more widely understood.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Trump took his self-pity to an entirely new level on Sunday night, claiming that he was being treated worse than Abraham Lincoln, the president who was famously assassinated after abolishing slavery. “They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse,” Trump complained during a virtual Fox News town hall at the Lincoln Memorial. During the same town hall, Trump bumped up his estimated COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. to 100,000, double the previous 50,000 figure he’d put forth in early April.

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

Josh Kovensky wrote about a new government document, obtained by the New York Times, that reportedly projects the U.S. will see 3,000 deaths from COVID-19 per day by June 1.

Earlier COVID-19 death toll coverage:

Today’s Rundown

Trump has nothing on his public schedule today.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Mississippi Guv Has Second Thoughts About Stay-At-Home Order Lift After Sharp Rise In COVID-19 Cases — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

Charmaine McGuffey Demolishes Jim Neil With 70% In Hamilton County Sheriff’s Race — Howard Wilkinson

‘Where Is The Rest Of My Laundry??’ — Alex Norcia

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).
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: