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: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you think your new reality is inconvenient and stressful, here's some perspective: Tens of millions of people are trying to stave off the coronavirus without reliable access to basic needs like shelter, food or health care.

Why it matters: The people who were already vulnerable in a strong economy are facing severe hardship as jobs evaporate overnight and safety net services are strained to the max.

Here's a look at who's hurting the most:

People experiencing homelessness: You can't "socially distance" or shelter in place if you don't have shelter in the first place.

  • Transmissible diseases can spread quickly among those sleeping in close-quartered shelters and in outdoor encampments without hygiene facilities.
  • The homeless population is trending older, so they're more vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • "We don’t want people sleeping outside but don’t want to put them at risk in a shelter where others have been exposed," said Lauren Dunning, director of Milken Institute's Center for the Future of Aging. "We have to look at opening emergency shelters to so people can properly quarantine."

Low-income workers: Hourly-wage workers in retail, food service, janitorial jobs, and even preschool teachers often live paycheck to paycheck — and their incredibly slim margins are about to be obliterated.

  • 53 million Americans — 44% of U.S. workers — are making a median of $10.22 an hour, or about $24,000 a year.
  • About half of low-wage workers are sole earners for their families, per Brookings Institution fellow Martha Ross.
  • "As you see the economy shut down, it's a picture of a workforce that was already vulnerable that's now going to be in much deeper trouble," Ross said.

Older residents of rural areas: Rural residents tend to be older and less likely to have paid sick leave or access to health care services.

  • More than 100 rural hospitals have closed in the last decade.
  • Those who don't have a doctor nearby, or who don't have health insurance, are more likely to forgo testing and treatment.

Single parents: They're shouldering the burden of work (if they still have it) and childcare on their own.

  • According to a ParentsTogether survey of 1,500 families, two-thirds of families are struggling financially due to the coronavirus outbreak and have lost income or expect to soon.
  • 80% of families are worried about having enough money to cover housing and food costs within three months; 46% are concerned they'll run out within two weeks.

Parents of children with special needs: Children with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities often rely on therapy and services provided through public school systems, the majority of which have closed for weeks.

  • Mounting financial pressures and jugging remote work while caring for special-needs children can create extreme stress for parents, especially those caring for multiple children.

Poor families: Children are at the mercy of their circumstances and, without school to offer routine and reliable meals, can take on the anxiety they see in the adults around them.

  • Among families with children receiving free or reduced-priced school meals, more than half are worried about being able to feed their children, per the ParentsTogether survey.
  • Nearly one-third of families whose schools have closed haven't been told by their districts where they can get food.

The mentally ill and immunocompromised: This group of patients has a host of complicated pre-existing conditions that often go untreated due to lack of access to care or social stigma.

  • People suffering from mental illness may have difficulty dealing with the stress of the crisis and not know where to seek help.
  • Those with weakened immunity require specialized care that can be hard to find, and are also more susceptible to the coronavirus itself.

Inmates: Social distancing is hard to achieve in overcrowded jails without putting everyone on lockdown or solitary confinement, Axios' Stef Kight reports.

  • Visits by family, friends and attorneys to people in federal prisons has been halted and several states have paused visitation for the time being.
  • Proper hand washing isn't always possible, and hand sanitizers are often considered contraband in prison because they can contain alcohol.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

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!