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

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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare America's stark class inequality and, some experts say, should lead to more urgent policy conversations about housing, wages and worker rights.

Why it matters: The real measure of a city's resiliency is the ability of its residents to survive a crisis and bounce back.

  • While recovery from a natural disaster tends to focus on physical infrastructure, a public health and economic crisis like this is highlighting the deficiencies of U.S. social infrastructure, said Jeff Hebert, partner at urban planning firm HR&A and former deputy mayor and chief resilience officer for New Orleans.

Driving the news: The latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index out Wednesday finds Americans with less education and lower incomes have been far more likely to keep showing up to work (and risk getting sick or spreading the virus) or to see their work dry up completely. The affluent, meanwhile, have maintained their jobs — and economic security — virtually.

  • "This is going to drive home the consequences of economic inequality in our country and the ripple effects of that on everyone," said HR&A's Kash.

What to watch: In the wake of this crisis, Kash and Hebert expect discussions to focus on tenant rights, housing assistance, worker rights, and policies related to incomes, paid sick leave and unemployment insurance.

Emergency response is more clear cut after a natural disaster. In other words, once a hurricane dissipates, a region can focus on recovery — and lean on other regions for support.

  • That's not an option right now, because the disaster is continuing while authorities everywhere tackle a prolonged response.
  • "We're in uncharted territory right now because we're going to be in emergency response for a very long period of time," Hebert said. "Everyone's in a crisis at once."

Go deeper: How the pandemic will reshape cities

Go deeper

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

National Archives releases Trump White House records to Jan. 6 panel

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The National Archives on Thursday evening released records of former President Trump's White House to the House Jan. 6 Select Committee, the agency said.

Why it matters: The committee now has documents that Trump attempted to keep hidden, arguing that their release would undermine his executive privilege.

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