Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, Florida Department of Health; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Florida's slow response to the coronavirus may have set the stage for a disastrous outcome in one of the country's most vulnerable states.

Driving the news: Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order yesterday, but there's bipartisan concern that he held off too long, letting the virus spread too far, before finally taking steps that many other governors embraced weeks ago.

Why it matters: Florida is the third biggest state in the U.S. and one of the highest-risk for coronavirus. Yet DeSantis' response has lagged well behind other populated states.

  • He let state beaches stay open during spring break, publicly downplayed the risk, and resisted a statewide lockdown until yesterday — and those delays may have made things worse.

By the numbers: Florida’s population is among the most at-risk in the nation, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

  • One in five residents is 65 or older. Between age and pre-existing health conditions, nearly half the state's population is at heightened risk of contracting the coronavirus.
  • The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida is increasing rapidly every day, with more than 900 new cases confirmed on Tuesday alone.

By the time the number of confirmed cases starts getting alarming, a crucial window already has passed. The coronavirus is highly contagious, and newly infected people can be contagious before they ever start to feel sick.

  • That's why social distancing — of the kind Florida had not mandated until yesterday — is so important.

"I think there is a lot of risk that the state was heavily seeded and could see significant growth in new cases," former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told Axios.

What they're saying: One Florida Republican operative told Axios that DeSantis was mindful of the "significant" impact such a decision would have on the state's economy and budget and "doing everything possible to limit the damage."

  • “I also think he was making a political calculation that, down the road, there's going to be some blowback, particularly from our base, on some of these more restrictive policies,” the operative added.
  • A Republican congressional aide from Florida told Axios they can understand DeSantis' considerations, but that it's clear he should have been more aggressive and direct sooner about how dire the situation was becoming.

The bottom line: Some local governments in Florida had previously issued stay-at-home orders, but DeSantis resisted, saying as recently as Tuesday that the White House coronavirus task force made no such recommendation.

  • But the coronavirus easily jumps from one community to another. All it takes is someone from one county with a stay-at-home order going to a bar in another county without one.

DeSantis' office did not respond to requests for comment.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Go deeper

Robert Costa: Gen. Mark Milley "was not going rogue" with China calls

Washington Post journalist Robert Costa on Monday said in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America that Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley "was not going rogue" when told his Chinese counterpart that the U.S. would not launch a surprise attack.

Driving the news: President Biden last week expressed "great confidence" in Milley after excerpts released from Costa's and Bob Woodward's book "Peril" revealed calls where Milley admits he would let China know ahead of time if former President Trump decided to attack.

Delta variant fears curb fall flying

Travelers in the Miami International Airport. Photo: by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Continued worries about the Delta variant are derailing fall travel plans.

Driving the news: Thanksgiving domestic flight bookings in August were 18% lower this year compared with 2019, according to a new Adobe Digital Economy Index report out Monday morning.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
26 mins ago - Energy & Environment

The breadth and limits of corporate carbon moves

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

This week will showcase how more big companies are taking steps to cut emissions — and why corporate pledges only go so far.

The big picture: It's Climate Week. That's the annual New York City event that brings together businesses, governments and activists for speeches, symposiums and pledges. The event typically serves as a venue for corporations to announce their latest efforts, and that's already starting.