Mar 21, 2020 - Health

Airport workers face layoffs across the U.S. as coronavirus spreads

Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands of airport employees are being let go across the United States as the novel coronavirus continues to spread and negatively impacts the travel industry.

The latest: More than 1,200 workers were laid off by OTG on Wednesday, which operates stores and restaurants at La Guardia, Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International airports in New York, according to The New York Times.

  • OTG informed its employees they would not receive severance and their health insurance would expire on March 31.
  • Lawrence Schwartz, a senior executive at OTG, told the Times he and other executives will take a 50% pay cut and will forgo bonuses.

The big picture:

Be smart via Axios' Dion Rabouin: “There is a lot of uncertainty around coronavirus, and it is pretty clear that it is having an effect on travel demand — not just from China, and not just internationally, but for domestic business and leisure travel as well," USTA president and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement.

Go deeper: Coronavirus to deliver largest decline in international travel to U.S. since financial crisis

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Some auto insurers giving customers refunds as drivers stay home

Light traffic on the freeways in Los Angeles on Monday evening. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Auto insurers Allstate and American Family Insurance announced Monday they're giving back some $800 million in premiums to customers in recognition that many are not driving much during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The payments their customers will receive are not vast amounts, but the "nature of the action is exemplary — and rare — given the context of a pandemic," notes the New York Times, which surveyed nine other auto insurance firms to see if they would follow their rivals' lead.

Go deeperArrowApr 7, 2020 - Health

The coronavirus outbreak will forever change the world economy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Both the U.S. and global economies are set to be permanently altered by the coronavirus outbreak and the measures that have been taken in response to it, experts say.

The state of play: "Fundamentally there are going to be huge changes in household consumption patterns, business patterns and global supply chains," Kevin Warsh, a former Fed governor and current economics lecturer at Stanford, said during a Reuters teleconference.

Public wants federal government, not states, in charge on coronavirus

Data: KFF Health Tracking Poll, March 25-30, 2020; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump has repeatedly said that he sees the federal government’s role as “backup” to the states on the response to coronavirus. But Americans want the federal government — not states — to take the lead, according to our latest KFF tracking poll.

Why it matters: States have so far been the ones issuing specific directives about social distancing, and are also trying to source health care supplies.

Go deeperArrowApr 7, 2020 - Health