A rural hospital in Washington state earlier this month. Photo: Nick Otto/Washington Post via Getty Images

Hospital executives are urging the federal government to approve a cash influx as soon as possible, because many fear the coronavirus outbreak will force them to miss payroll and potentially shutter their doors.

What they're saying: "If we don't get some assistance in the next two weeks, we will have to begin to have a conversation ... that we will no longer to be able to be in business, and that we will have to close the hospital," J. Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital and North Valley Hospital in Washington state, told reporters Saturday.

Where it stands: The American Hospital Association is asking the federal government for a $100 billion bailout, as well as a waiver of the 2% Medicare cuts that were mandated through sequestration in 2013.

  • Congress is working again today to figure out what a final package for hospitals could look like.
  • But it's unclear if rural and safety net hospitals that are most in need of cash would get most of the bailout funds. Tom Nickels, a top lobbyist with the AHA, said federal aid could be pooled into a common stabilization fund for all hospitals.

Go deeper: Coronavirus threatens rural hospitals, from Kaiser Health News

Go deeper

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.

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Alumni fight to save college sports

Data: Mat Talk Online; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

242 collegiate athletic programs have been cut amid the pandemic, altering the careers and lives of thousands of student-athletes.

Yes, but: Some passionate alumni groups have opted to fight, banding together in hopes of saving the programs they helped build and continue to love.

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The U.S.-China trade war quietly escalates

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images and Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Lost amid headlines about the coronavirus pandemic and the seemingly unstoppable stock market rally, has been the monthslong escalation of tensions in the U.S.-China trade war —  and it's likely here to stay.

Why it matters: The tariffs continue to impress a sizable tax on U.S. companies and consumers, adding additional costs and red tape for small businesses, farmers, manufacturers and households trying to stay afloat amid the pandemic.