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

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Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that if the coronavirus outbreak in New York City reaches the level it did in Wuhan, China, it would "overwhelm" the health care system.

Why it matters: New York State currently has the most reported coronavirus cases in the country. Gottlieb said he is concerned that the U.S. could have many "Wuhan-style" outbreaks because Americans are "more mobile," making it more difficult to confine the virus to one metropolitan area like China was able to.

What he's saying:

"Remember, Wuhan was the size of New York City. At the peak of that epidemic, they hospitalized about 20,000 people. 10,000 were in serious or critical condition. 2,000 were intubated. To give you a basis of comparison, New York state — the entire state — has 50,000 hospital beds and about 3,000 critical-care beds. And about 20,000 of those beds are in New York City.
If we have a Wuhan-style outbreak in New York City, that's going to overwhelm the system. So they need to be building surge capacity right now in anticipation of that possibility."

The big picture: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrote in a New York Times opinion piece that "data from other countries shows us clearly where we are headed."

  • "State and local governments alone simply do not have the capacity or resources to do what is necessary," Cuomo wrote.
  • Cuomo called on the Trump administration to allow states to take over testing efforts, to craft federal standards for when cities and states should shut down commerce and schools, and to task the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary medical centers in high-risk states and cities.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on CNN Sunday that he expects the number of cases in the city to reach more than 1,000 in the coming days. When asked if he is considering putting in place a lockdown in the city or having restaurants and bars shut down, he said:

  • “Every option is on the table in a crisis. We’ve never seen anything like this."

Go deeper: Fauci on coronavirus: "We'll be thankful that we're overreacting"

Go deeper

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.