Dec 29, 2017

Billionaire donors flock to Florida gov candidate after Trump tweet

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A week after President Trump endorsed Ron DeSantis for Florida governor via Twitter, a handful of billionaires have thrown their support behind the three-term Republican congressman, per Politico.

Why it matters: The monetary support DeSantis has received could prove instrumental in his race, because in a "state as big as Florida, where a week's worth of saturation TV during next year's general election could cost as much as $3 million, cash is king," per Politico.

Supporters include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, hedge fund heiress Rebekah Mercer, investment tycoon Foster Friess, as well as other donors who have funded Trump's 2016 campaign and the conservative Koch brothers' network, per Politico.

The Trump effect: DeSantis reflects the shifting type of Republican candidate under Trump: he's a Fox News contributor, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a supporter of Trump's recent decision to make Jerusalem the home of the U.S. embassy in Israel, and he opposes Special Counsel Bob Mueller's Russia probe (even calling for it to end after just six months).

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America's funeral homes buckle under the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries in hot spots across America cannot keep up with the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, and at least tens of thousands more lives are projected to be lost. The numbers are creating unprecedented bottlenecks in the funeral industry — and social distancing is changing the way the families say goodbye to their loved ones.

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Navarro memos warning of mass coronavirus death circulated in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

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The state of play: By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

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Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: The virus hits home

Data: Ipsos/Axios poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The share of Americans who know someone who's tested positive has more than tripled in just a few weeks, to 14%, according to the latest installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

  • It's still highest in the Northeast, but last week alone it doubled in the South — and it's becoming most pronounced among people who still must leave home to work.