May 13, 2019

Populism's Latin American revival could reach Argentina

Here for the book club? Fernández supporters at the launch of her new book, "Sincerely." Photo: Emiliano Lasalvia/AFP/Getty Images

Argentina's center-right ruling coalition suffered a resounding defeat Sunday in regional elections, but the lessons ahead of October's presidential vote are less clear cut.

The big picture: The landslide winner in Córdoba, incumbent Gov. Juan Schiaretti, falls between two pillars of Argentine politics — Mauricio Macri, the unpopular president, and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, his populist predecessor. Fernández is aiming for a political comeback despite facing a slew of corruption charges.

  • "Amid economic turmoil that has battered Argentina’s markets, job losses and stubborn inflation, hard-hit voters have been losing faith in Macri, though many are wary of turning back to ... Fernández, seen as the likely main contender," per Reuters.
  • What to watch: A recent poll put Fernández 9 points ahead of Macri in a hypothetical second-round matchup. Fernández held a campaign-style rally last week to launch her new book, which is already a smash hit, the FT reports.

Flashback, from the FT's outgoing Latin America editor John Paul Rathbone:

  • "[F]our years ago, I was amazed, as were many, when [Macri] unexpectedly won Argentina’s presidency. He was young, apparently sensible and open-minded. Most important of all, he was unencumbered by ideology or nostalgic nationalism."
  • "Wonderful irony: perhaps the continent was at last rejecting the siren call of populism, just as the west had begun to embrace it. Yet now, the region, or at least Brazil and Mexico, have apparently returned to form and elected 'national saviors' as their leaders. Is there ever an escape from the labyrinth?"

Zoom out: The Economist lays out "clear signs of disenchantment with democracy" across Latin America in this week's edition.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 691,867 — Total deaths: 32,988 — Total recoveries: 146,613.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 125,433 — Total deaths: 2,201 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record, bringing its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked people"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference Sunday that President Donald Trump's unexpected Saturday announcement of a possible "short-term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut to curb the spread of the coronavirus "really panicked people."

Why it matters: Though Trump ruled out the mandatory quarantine later that day, Cuomo said people still called "all night long" asking about the comments and many likely fled the New York area — possibly spreading the virus further.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Fauci suggests death toll could top 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN Sunday that models suggest COVID-19 will infect millions of Americans and could kill 100,000–200,000, though he stressed that the projections are "such a moving target."

The big picture: With more than 121,000 people infected, the U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, reported influxes of cases on Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health