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The virtual Quad gathering in March, with (clockwise from top-left) Biden, Suga, Modi and Morrison. Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

President Biden will host the leaders of Australia, India and Japan at the White House on Sept. 24 — the first time the leaders of the "Quad" countries will gather for an in-person summit.

Why it matters: Elevating the Quad is a key aspect of Biden's strategy for competing with China. All four countries have butted heads with Beijing in recent years, making them increasingly willing to cooperate in a forum that Beijing rejects as an anti-China bloc.

  • The leaders met virtually in March and announced a plan to increase vaccine supplies to countries in Southeast Asia — a plan that was later complicated when India stopped most vaccine exports.
  • The White House referred to the gathering as the "first-ever Quad Leaders Summit," a description which seems to suggest there could be additional summits to come.
  • It will be the first visit to Biden's White House for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visited in April.

What to watch: The Quad countries aren't always aligned in terms of how closely they should coordinate, or how willing they should be to risk angering Beijing. Still, some in Washington see the Quad as the foundation of what could eventually become a NATO for the 21st century.

Go deeper

Dec 10, 2021 - World

Democracy vs. China: Biden's top priorities are sometimes in conflict

Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Biden has described the global competition between the U.S. and China as a battle of democracy vs. autocracy. The reality is often murkier.

Why it matters: Addressing his Summit for Democracy on Thursday, Biden called the erosion of democracy around the world “the defining challenge of our time.” But his democracy agenda is beginning to collide with his China strategy in uncomfortable ways.

Updated 14 mins ago - Economy & Business

S&P 500 on track for worst-ever start to year

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Stocks suffered their steepest drop of the year early Monday, putting the S&P 500 on course for its worst-ever start to a year.

Driving the news: The benchmark S&P 500 dropped for its fifth straight day, with losses nearing 3% in early trading, momentarily putting it on track to fall into a "correction." Some of the steepest losses were recovered in early afternoon trading.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.