A hospital staff member carrying a suspected COVID-19 blood sample case to a medical center in Daegu, South Korea, on Sunday. Photo: Seung-il Ryu/NurPhoto via Getty Images

South Korean President Moon Jae-in raised the country's infectious disease alert level on Sunday to red, the highest possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country jumped to 602 and the death toll to six.

Why it matters: South Korea now has more cases of COVID-19 than any country outside mainland China and only 32 fewer than the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the latest figures show.

  • The Korean Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention reported Saturday an eightfold increase in cases in four days. Most cases are in the southern cities of Daegu and Cheongdo, which authorities had just declared "special care zones" in the hope of stopping the spread of the virus, per the FT. But this did not happen.

Of note: More than half of those infected are connected to the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a "secretive" religious sect, per The Guardian.

U.S. response: The State Department raised its travel advisory for South Korea on Saturday to level 2, recommending travelers exercise increased caution and prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.

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Facebook ad boycott organizers on meeting with Zuckerberg

Facebook is in the midst of the largest ad boycott in its history, with nearly 1,000 brands having stopped paid advertising in July because they feel Facebook hasn't done enough to remove hate speech from its namesake app and Instagram.

Axios Re:Cap spoke with the boycott's four main organizers, who met on Tuesday with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives, to learn why they organized the boycott, what they took from the meeting, and what comes next.

Boycott organizers slam Facebook following tense virtual meeting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Civil rights leaders blasted Facebook's top executives shortly after speaking with them on Tuesday, saying that the tech giant's leaders "failed to meet the moment" and were "more interested in having a dialogue than producing outcomes."

Why it matters: The likely fallout from the meeting is that the growing boycott of Facebook's advertising platform, which has reached nearly 1000 companies in less than a month, will extend longer than previously anticipated, deepening Facebook's public relations nightmare.

Steve Scalise PAC invites donors to fundraiser at Disney World

Photo: Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise’s PAC is inviting lobbyists to attend a four-day “Summer Meeting” at Disney World's Polynesian Village in Florida, all but daring donors to swallow their concern about coronavirus and contribute $10,000 to his leadership PAC.

Why it matters: Scalise appears to be the first House lawmakers to host an in-person destination fundraiser since the severity of pandemic became clear. The invite for the “Summer Meeting” for the Scalise Leadership Fund, obtained by Axios, makes no mention of COVID-19.