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

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus is here and will complicate life for millions of Americans — but there are signs from Asia that it can get better if we're willing to take that pain now.

The big picture: Coronavirus is stifled by early and aggressive action — and no matter how well-intentioned, half-measures only seem to make things worse.

The magic formula from South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore:

  1. Social distancing on a massive scale, quarantining infected areas, canceling big events and closing schools and offices to slow down the spread.
  2. Intensive testing for all who want it, and surveillance and monitoring of the infected to try to limit outbreaks.
  3. Emergency efforts to ensure people don't avoid care over cost concerns, because everyone is at greater risk of infection if the uninsured and underinsured avoid treatment.

Between the lines: The U.S. response thus far has been a series of half-measures, with predicable results.

  1. Schools and companies have closed after cases pop up, rather than ahead of them. But the closings are beginning to accelerate.
  2. The entire country faces a massive testing shortage, lagging dramatically behind its peers.
  3. Governments have begun to use their muscle, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo dispatching the National Guard to help shut down facilities in the area of the state's main outbreak. Multiple states are beginning to declare states of emergencies.

The bottom line: The U.S. is not doing enough to prevent this thing from getting worse, and every day it delays will make it that much harder.

  • President Trump seems focused on preventing a coronavirus recession, but no amount of monetary policy or stimulus will compensate for a public health response that's equal to this virus.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: The chart above has been corrected. It originally showed the total number of U.S. cases, rather than the new cases each day.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
9 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.

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