Apr 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The ugly side of politics emerges

Hundreds gathered for a "reopen" rally yesterday in Harrisburg, Pa. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Brace yourself for a very predictable next phase of the coronavirus crisis: the deeply partisan, parallel universe reaction to what America should do next.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats experienced very different realities with the emergence of the virus.

  • Conservatives live in states with fewer cases and consume far more skeptical coverage of the virus threat.
  • Liberals, especially in big cities, experience more death and consume far more ominous coverage. 

You saw this last night with President Trump announcing via Twitter a ban on legal immigration, an extraordinary move most Republicans will rally around. 

  • You saw this yesterday with three Southern states — Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, all run by Republicans — saying they would open beaches, restaurants and most businesses. 

Flattening the curve "is now one of the most contentious issues in politics," the N.Y. Times Jeremy Peters writes:

  • "Guns, abortion, voting rights and religious expression ... have emerged as fault lines in the debate over how government is responding to the crisis."

So, like everything in modern America, it appears most dimensions and interpretations of the virus will quickly devolve into Fox vs. MSNBC food fights.

  • What makes this all the more extraordinary is that it's unfolding when most Americans see the virus — and returning to work — as a big risk.

Go deeper

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.