Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Lawmakers running for reelection are restructuring campaigns around frequent virtual town halls — a stretch for many Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers who depend on staffers or grandchildren for their tech skills.

Why it matters: Virtual campaigning is replacing handshakes, hugs, baby-kissing and door-knocking, as voters quarantine and social distance. That can make it harder for challengers who lack built-in name recognition.

Sen. Joni Ernst, a Republican in a tight race in Iowa: "We're doing Facebook Lives, tele-town halls, Instagrams — all of it."

  • "I told my team to look at any opportunity where we can get out there safely and engage. Unfortunately, we just don't know what that looks like yet."

Rep. Diaz-Balart of Florida: "Among Hispanics, you know, you kiss and hug everybody. In my community, the secret of doing well is the fact that they know you and you know them."

Go deeper: Biden to test local virtual campaign events

Go deeper

Rep. Brooks: We need to better prepare for pandemics

Axios' Margaret Talev (L) and Rep. Susan Brooks (R). Photo: Axios

Insufficient stockpiles and a lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a warning for America on future preparedness, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "Congress had been beefing up for years — the appropriations for preparedness — it certainly was not enough, and we recognize that," Brooks said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 30,814,638 — Total deaths: 957,632— Total recoveries: 21,068,829Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 6,766,724 — Total deaths: 199,268 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules, including for vaccines In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Sep 18, 2020 - Health

CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people

CDC director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Sept. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its previously revised guidance for coronavirus testing on Friday to say that testing asymptomatic people who were exposed to COVID-19 is recommended for treatment and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The CDC's modification in August to recommend against testing for asymptomatic people was not written by scientists and posted despite their "serious objections," New York Times first reported. CNN confirmed that the agency's update was published outside the agency's "normal review process."