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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Axios' Sara Fischer and founder Jim VandeHei. Photo: Axios Events

Americans' coronavirus fears are increasing as they continue to worry the federal government is unprepared to deal with the spread of infections, The Harris Poll's Mark Penn discussed at an Axios event on Thursday.

Why it matters: The country, from local governments to the White House, is taking the coronavirus much more seriously now than when the outbreak first began. However, the U.S. is battling an overabundance of information, some accurate and some not, while trying to prepare the health care system for the worst.

What they're saying:

  • Mark Penn: "Very large numbers approve of the government response. But if you ask them about the need for stimulus, ... whether it's a payroll tax cut or a check or lower interest rates or bailout, basically their attitude is, 'you better do something'...Most people think the government needs to do more."
  • Axios' Sara Fischer: "Reporters have an obligation to tell people through a data-driven clinical lense. So people might say, 'Hey, this feels overcovered.' But at the end of the day, what the data is showing us is, in fact, most people are not taking this seriously enough."
  • Axios' Caitlin Owens: "What is going to happen, almost inevitably is we are going to see a spike in cases soon, in the next few days...Right now, the problem is, America's hospitals do not have the beds or the equipment that statically will need care. That's why you are seeing triage units being set-up outside of hospitals."

Go deeper: Americans are losing their sense of invincibility toward coronavirus

Go deeper

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating and halting other action for roughly nine hours, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.