Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Millions of Americans are skipping credit card payments in the face of mass unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

What's happening: Card issuers including Capital One, Discover and Synchrony are letting borrowers miss payments for a month or more, waiving late fees and forgiving some of their balances — but delinquencies are still expected to soar this year, WSJ reports.

  • Synchrony and Discover say they have enabled hundreds of thousands of borrowers to defer payments, including credit card customers.
  • Capital One says 1% of active card accounts are now in deferral programs.
  • Citigroup, Synchrony and Discover are lowering spending limits and closing cards that haven't recently been used, as consumers under stay-at-home orders avoid travel and shopping.

The big picture: More than 26 million Americans have filed jobless claims in recent weeks, meaning unemployment is likely already at Great Depression-era highs.

The bottom line: "As the economy spirals, credit-card payments are one of the first places where the effects will show up," WSJ's AnnaMaria Andriotis and Orla McCaffrey report.

Go deeper: The states having the most trouble with credit card debt

Go deeper

White House, Democrats no closer to reaching coronavirus stimulus deal

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the standoff on the next coronavirus stimulus package to ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Why it matters: Enhanced unemployment insurance expired for tens of millions of Americans on July 31, while those in talks to secure the next coronavirus stimulus package have made it clear that a deal is a long way off.

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Health

13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project (CTP) and state health departments. Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming surpassed records from the previous week.

The big picture: The pandemic is getting worse again across the country, and daily coronavirus cases have risen in the U.S. for six straight weeks, according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios. The U.S. reported over 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."