Updated Mar 19, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Axios hosts a live virtual conversation on the coronavirus

Live from Axios headquarters, Axios and The Harris Poll hosted conversations on the coronavirus and pandemic preparedness on Thursday, March 19.

The lineup:

  • Coronavirus: What people are thinking ... Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei and media reporter Sara Fischer were joined by The Harris Poll's John Gerzema and Mark Penn to discuss the mood of the country, factors contributing to America’s state of mind, the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and who Americans are turning to in times of crisis.
  • Panic vs. preparation: VandeHei and Axios media reporter Sara Fischer talked about the world that emerges from the coronavirus pandemic — who’s prepared, who’s not, how to wade through the massive amounts of information and how our lives will evolve.
  • Reacting to a response: Allen was joined by Axios health care reporter Caitlin Owens to discuss how the government is working to fight the outbreak — expanding testing, enforcing quarantines and limitations on gatherings — and to unpack the ongoing race to create a vaccine.

Go deeper

Why it matters: Coronavirus

On Thursday morning, Axios hosted its first virtual event, convening top editorial talent for an in-depth discussion on the coronavirus outbreak.

Axios Co-founder & CEO Jim VandeHei discussed the latest government approval numbers around coronavirus response with Mark Penn, Chairman at The Harris Poll, and the severity of the economic consequences with Axios Media Reporter, Sara Fischer.

  • Sara Fischer on at-risk workers: "Every sector of the economy is going to be touched by this...[What] we need to be thinking about as a country is how can we ensure that not only the wealthy and well-off are the people that are going to be able to get through this? I worry that some of the people in these sectors, people who can't work remotely...I wonder how this is going to impact them."
  • Sara Fischer on the media's duty to the public: "What the data is showing us is that most people are not taking this seriously enough...It's really up to [the media] to make sure that we're telling the story, that we're using data to inform it and that we're doing it to keep the public and keep our readers safe."

Axios Co-founder Mike Allen and Health Care Reporter Caitlin Owens covered efforts to expand testing, enforce quarantines, and the ongoing race to create a vaccine.

  • Caitlin Owens on the trajectory of the mood on Capitol Hill: "What you're seeing now is Congress working on its third package to address the virus. Congress doesn't work together very well these days, so I think that that is just reflective of the urgency of the situation."
  • Caitlin Owens on the current status of hospitals and testing: "The problem is that America's hospitals do not have the beds or the equipment to treat all those people that statistically will need care. And that's why you're seeing kind of triage units being set up outside of hospitals. We need more of that...We're kind of working with without information here, people aren't getting tested. So we don't quite know how bad the problem is going to be."

Thank you, Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Fears about the coronavirus and the U.S. government's response are growing

Axios' Sara Fischer and founder Jim VandeHei. Photo: Axios Events

Americans' coronavirus fears are increasing as they continue to worry the federal government is unprepared to deal with the spread of infections, The Harris Poll's Mark Penn discussed at an Axios event on Thursday.

Why it matters: The country, from local governments to the White House, is taking the coronavirus much more seriously now than when the outbreak first began. However, the U.S. is battling an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not, while trying to prepare the health care system for the worst.

Go deeperArrowMar 19, 2020 - Health

Watch: Bad actors are exploiting our fears with manipulative information

As part of our What Matters 2020 series on the critical trends that will outlive this moment, Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen discuss the impact of misinformation .