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

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A new shipment of facemasks arriving in Liege, Belgium, on March 23. Photo: Vincent Kalut / Photonews via Getty Images

The backup in global supply chains plus a manufacturing and transportation sector already weakened by the U.S.-China trade war are combining to slow the rate of goods deliveries to nearly double their normal times.

What's happening: "Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy," Reuters reports.

  • "Problems ranging from finding enough truck drivers to restrictions on seafarers and a lack of air freight are hitting the smooth flow of goods, freight logistics operators say."
  • "Stockpiling and panic buying by consumers are also adding to strains."

The big picture: Air cargo shipments had been declining since early 2019, and 75% of U.S. companies surveyed by the Institute for Supply Management said two weeks ago their supply chains already had been upended, with most expecting disruptions to continue.

  • The coronavirus outbreak that moved from China at the beginning of the year to Europe and then the Americas has meant significant delays transporting key goods such as medicines and perishable foods.

What they're saying: "Supply chain disruption has moved rapidly from east to west," Mohammed Esa, chief commercial officer for Europe with global logistics group Agility, told Reuters.

  • "What you could normally move in two or three days is going to take twice as long — you have to still get it through the airport, you have put it on a truck and get it through borders."

What's next: Boeing announced a full work stoppage in Seattle and GE laid off employees making jet engines, per the Wall Street Journal, while major U.S. airlines are discussing putting a stop to all passenger flights.

Go deeper: The coronavirus economy will devastate those who can least afford it

Go deeper

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. strikes Iran-backed militia facilities in Syria

President Biden at the Pentagon on Feb. 10. Photo: Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images

The United States on Thursday carried out an airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to an Iran-backed militia group, the Pentagon announced.

The state of play: The strike, approved by President Biden, comes "in response to recent attacks against American and Coalition personnel in Iraq, and to ongoing threats to those personnel," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement.

Senate parliamentarian rules $15 minimum wage cannot be included in relief package

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday that the provision to increase the minimum wage to $15/hour cannot be included in the broader $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: It's now very likely that any increase in the minimum wage will need bipartisan support, as the provision cannot be passed with the simple Senate majority that Democrats are aiming to use for President Biden's rescue bill.

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