Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The days of ignoring the coronavirus are over.

The big picture: State and local governments — combined with big cultural institutions and corporations — are rapidly making social distancing a reality felt by all Americans.

  • Sports leagues are going dark: The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS are suspending or delaying their seasons. The NCAA is canceling March Madness.
  • Cultural events are being canceled or postponed: Broadway in NYC is the latest to shut down, and the St. Patrick's Day parades won't march in 2020.
  • Schools are shutting down or going virtual: The list of universities that aren't shutting down is becoming shorter than the ones going online.
  • States like Washington and New York are going on war footings vs. the virus, with emergency declarations and grim warnings.
  • Even the U.S. Capitol is closing its doors to visitors until April 1.

Between the lines: President Trump's Oval Office address last night has not been well-received, with markets plummeting and widespread confusion thanks to his false claims over how a European travel ban will be implemented.

  • Epidemiologists predict numbers will still rise, and they say actions could be better put toward mitigating community spread in the U.S.
  • Joe Biden blasted the administration's "colossal" failure on coronavirus testing and called for free testing plus emergency paid sick leave.
  • Bernie Sanders warned that the "number of casualties may be even higher than what the armed forces experienced in WWII." (That sounds crazy until you recall the congressional doctor warned 70 million–150 million Americans may become infected.)

The bottom line: Things are likely to get much worse before they get better, as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his public today:

  • "This is the worst public health crisis for a generation. ... Many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time."

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!