Jan 30, 2019

Political stars no longer need to hold office

Stacey Abrams. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

For plugged-in Democrats, "Stacey" and "Beto" are nearly as familiar as "AOC."

The backdrop: Stacey Abrams doesn't have a title before her name — a list of midterm results could call her "loser." But Democrats cheered yesterday when the barely-defeated candidate for Georgia governor was named to deliver the Democratic response to President Trump's State of the Union address.

  • Abrams, an entrepreneur and former Democratic leader in the Georgia House, was the first black woman to be the gubernatorial nominee of a major party, and won more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia history.
  • Speaker Pelosi said in the announcement: "Her electrifying message of courage, perseverance and hope reinvigorated our nation and our politics, and continues to inspire millions of Americans in every part of the country."

Vox.com founder Ezra Klein pointed out the midterm phenomenon:

  • "The biggest Dem superstars to emerge either lost to Republicans (Abrams, [Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew] Gillum, Beto) or beat Democrats (AOC, [Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna] Pressley)."
  • Be smart: This reflects an online age where a personal brand can be as powerful as establishment trappings — or even public office.

Go deeper ... AOC, Beto: The 7 letters disrupting politics

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Trump touts press briefing "ratings" as U.S. coronavirus case surge

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

President Trump sent about a half-dozen tweets on Sunday touting the high television ratings that his coronavirus press briefings have received, selectively citing a New York Times article that compared them to "The Bachelor" and "Monday Night Football."

Why it matters: The president has been holding daily press briefings in the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but news outlets have struggled with how to cover them live — as Trump has repeatedly been found to spread misinformation and contradict public health officials.

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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