Our Expert Voices conversation on pandemics.

Epidemics are inevitable, but there are ways we can mitigate how and to what extent they affect communities across the globe. While there's no magic bullet, the most important thing is to make sure patient and community needs remain at the center of the response. Quick reaction, adaptability and flexibility are some of the main factors for success in an emergency response.

While international medical experts are able to make a significant impact during emergencies, governments play the greatest role in protecting their populations. It's up to them to make people's health a priority, as well as ensure that health workers are protected and hospitals are safe. International support is also essential when battling diseases like measles, malaria and Ebola. Diseases affect people indiscriminately, and so countries should prepare and respond to public health concerns even if a disease hasn't yet reached their communities or is not likely to become a pandemic.

Bottom line: Investing in health nationally is as essential as having the political courage to declare an outbreak and accept external assistance.

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Updated 11 mins ago - World

Massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: The cause of the explosion is unknown. It's also unclear how many people were killed or wounded, but the Lebanese Red Cross has told AP that casualties number in the hundreds. Reuters reports that at least 10 people have been killed, citing security sources.

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 18,349,260 — Total deaths: 695,550 — Total recoveries — 10,951,112Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 4,732,418 — Total deaths: 155,942 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response.
  4. Public health: 40% of Americans continue to put off medical care.
  5. Politics: Trump tells "Axios on HBO" that pandemic is "under control," despite surges in infections and uptick in deaths.
  6. Business: Low-income households are struggling to pay energy bills — Construction spending falls for 4th straight month.
Updated 55 mins ago - Science

The U.S. is at risk of attacks in space

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Other nations are catching up to U.S. capabilities in space, potentially putting American assets in orbit at risk.

Why it matters: From GPS to imagery satellites and others that can peer through clouds, space data is integral to American national security.