May 3, 2020 - Health

Birx: Protestors not practicing distancing is "devastatingly worrisome"

White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx said on "Fox News Sunday" that from a public health standpoint, it is "devastatingly worrisome" that protestors in Michigan and around the country are gathering in close quarters and not wearing masks while demonstrating against stay-at-home orders.

Why it matters: President Trump has tweeted support for the Michigan protestors, some of whom were armed and successfully entered the state's Capitol building last Thursday where lawmakers were voting on whether to extend a public health emergency.

  • Birx noted that these protestors could return home and transmit the coronavirus to family members who may be more vulnerable because of old age or underlying medical conditions.
  • "They will feel guilty for the rest of our lives," Birx said. "So we need to protect each other at the same time we're voicing our discontent."

The big picture: As U.S. deaths from the coronavirus surged past 65,000, Birx said on Fox that the White House has always projected that the death toll would be between 100,000 and 240,000 — even with full mitigation measures and social distancing guidelines in place.

  • She said that "every single metro area and every single outbreak across the country is different," and so while places like New Orleans and Detroit are showing significant declines in new cases, others are ramping up.

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Updated 7 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.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

The risk asset rally continues as stock market rebounds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.

Trump's troubles grow, spread

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.