Updated Apr 13, 2020 - Health

The committees to reopen America

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Carolyn Cole-Pool/Getty Images

The drumbeat to turn America's lights back on is approaching a crescendo, even as the virus is in the opening stanza.

The big picture: Preempting President Trump, two groups of states are working on regional plans to lift their lockdowns as conditions permit.

  • The eastern group: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
  • The western group: California, Oregon and Washington.
  • Both groups say they'll use metrics to guide reopening, with more details expected over the coming days.

Why it matters: Trump claimed today that he is the decider on when states reopen. His tweets undermined GOP talking points and are constitutionally dubious.

  • But the underlying truth: States that are in the early stages of the outbreak are relying on his leadership to convince people to stay at home.
  • That includes major swaths of Trump country, and the president's bully pulpit could play a decisive role in ending lockdowns too soon to flatten the curve.

Between the lines: Lessons from New York, which has suffered America's worst outbreak, will form a template for rolling back restrictions in parts of the country with later projected peaks.

  • "The worst is over" in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.
  • That could change if New Yorkers don't keep up their social distancing, he emphasized.
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio noted recent declines in three key metrics: 1) positive tests; 2) patients admitted to the hospital; 3) patients admitted to the ICU.

The bottom line: More than 10,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York alone. It's a very sad day when only 671 recorded deaths is good news.

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Coronavirus cases spike in Texas, Oregon and Arizona

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise, Naema Ahmed/Axios

Texas, Arizona and Oregon saw significant spikes last week in new coronavirus infections, while cases also continued to climb in a handful of states where steady increases have become the norm.

Why it matters: Nationwide, new cases have plateaued over the past week. To get through this crisis and safely continue getting back out into the world, we need them to go down — a lot.

Cities' budget woes worsen with increased social unrest

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cities were already furloughing workers and considering cutting back essential services — including public safety — because of the dramatic drops in the local tax revenue that funds them. Now they're also dealing with turmoil in their streets.

Why it matters: "Unfortunately, the increasing levels of social unrest across the country reallocated efforts and scarce resources away from the former focus of getting state, regional and local economies back to some semblance of normalcy," per Tom Kozlik, head of municipal strategy and credit at HilltopSecurities.