A 2017 Chevy Malibu at the 2017 Washington Auto Show in Washington. Photo: Samuel Corum / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The 2018 Washington Auto Show begins on Tuesday, and will be displaying a variety of electric vehicles, as well as allowing lawmakers and regulators to discuss "unique challenges and opportunities" surrounding new transportation trends in the MobilityTalks International forum.

Why it matters: This year's show will have the most all-electric vehicles to date, according to the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association communications manager Mike Bushnell.

  • There will be a Senate Energy Committee hearing on the sidelines of the auto show events on Thursday, and a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday.
  • Guest speakers include Senate Commerce chairman John Thune; Michigan Sen. Gary Peters; Lyft's director of government relations Rob Grant; General Motors' director of corporate finance Rachel Bhattacharya; and Jack Weast, the chief systems architect of autonomous driving solutions for Intel.
  • Bill Wehrum, who is EPA's top air pollution official, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will be taking questions from the press on Thursday.
  • Cars that will at the consumer show include the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the e-Golf, the zero-emission BMW i3, the Honda Clarity fuel cell car, and the Chevy Volt and Bolt

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The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

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The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

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Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.