Mar 30, 2019

CEOs take an even bigger stand

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

CEOs are facing increasing pressure to address divisive 2020 campaign issues.

Why it matters: The days of the apolitical CEO are over. Questions from employees, shareholders and analysts about where they stand — and how policies could impact profits — have already started, and will only increase in intensity as we get closer to November 2020.

  • The heads of insurers Humana and Centene have been pressed by Wall Street analysts on Medicare for All.
  • JP Morgan Chase, Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon have made their own health care opinions clear by founding their short-on-details venture.
  • The CEOs of Exxon Mobil, BP and Chevron are being asked about the Green New Deal.
  • The chief executives of Uber, Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson and others denounced President Trump's immigration policy — an issue that didn't directly impact their business.

What to watch: Expect CEOs to address more issues directly and/or take a stance by launching do-good programs within their own companies in a way that tries to balance shareholder, employee and customer interests.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.