Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the coronavirus is already making the pandemic worse in his own backyard, and the failure to reach a deal on a new round of stimulus will likely make it worse all across the country, for months.

Why it matters: Heading into the winter months without a new round of stimulus in place will leave vulnerable workers without a financial safety net if they get sick — and because of that, experts say, it will likely make the pandemic itself worse.

The reasons are simple: If you can’t afford to miss work, and if there’s no temporary aid to make it feasible for you to miss work, then you’ll keep going to work — even if you’re infected. Those workers will infect others, and the virus will spread from there.

Driving the news: Trump tweeted yesterday that he has directed his administration to pause stimulus negotiations until after the election, saying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was "not negotiating in good faith."

  • “No doubt about it, the failure to pass this will make it much harder to contain the virus in the fall, and that means we will see larger outbreaks, more people getting sick,” Ashish Jha, the dean of the Brown University school of public health, told Axios last month.

Washington’s failure to put together a new stimulus package will disproportionately hurt the low-wage, front-line workers, most of them Black or Hispanic, who have borne the brunt of this entire pandemic.

  • On a smaller scale, those workers are already suffering for another of political Washington’s mistakes: the growing outbreak emanating from the White House.

Where it stands: In addition to Trump and many of his senior advisers, the White House outbreak has sickened housekeepers, military aides and reporters. Secret Service agents have also been put at risk.

  • As with any outbreak, there’s a clear concern that it could keep spreading. One reporter has infected his spouse, and if West Wing staff were as careless in their personal lives as they were at work, any number of servers, store clerks, neighbors and friends may have been exposed.
  • D.C. had done a relatively good job keeping new cases under control, but now they’re at their highest level in months, threatening the city’s plans to reopen schools.

At the Capitol, which has no formal testing regimen, 123 front-line workers have tested positive since the beginning of the pandemic, Roll Call reports. There, too, the burden has fallen on people just doing their jobs, including a total of 46 Capitol Police officers.

The bottom line: Official Washington is making this worse.

  • In the immediate term, the Trump administration’s carelessness is now fueling a bigger outbreak, and over the next few months, the failure to provide some financial lifeline will likely force some working people into an impossible choice between their health and their livelihoods.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans believe the federal government's handling of the pandemic has gotten significantly worse over time, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: Every other institution measured in Week 29 of our national poll — from state and local governments to people's own employers and area businesses — won positive marks for improving their responses since those panicked early days in March and April.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse. The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals. 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.

Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events

President Trump speaks to a crowd of 2,000 supporters during a rally at the Bemidji Regional Airport on Sept. 18 in Bemidji, Minnesota. Photo by Stephen Maturen via Getty

The Minnesota Department of Health has traced nearly two dozen coronavirus cases to three campaign events held last month, an official told Axios on Monday.

Why it matters: The Trump campaign has come under repeated fire for being lax about mask requirements and not adhering to social distancing and other local guidelines at its events.