A warehouse of boats damaged in Panama City Beach, Florida. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hurricane Michael has wreaked havoc in the Florida Panhandle since making landfall as a Category 4 storm Wednesday afternoon, killing at least two people and creating "catastrophic" damage in the region.

The big picture: Hurricane Michael exploded from a tropical storm to a near-Category 5 hurricane in just four days, making it one of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the continental U.S.

Destroyed home in Panama City Beach, Florida. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Mexico Beach, Florida. Photo: Weather Channel via John Ekdahl
Mexico Beach, Florida. Photo: Weather Channel via John Ekdahl
Mexico Beach, Florida. Photo: Weather Channel via John Ekdahl
Devastation in Mexico City Beach, Florida. Photo: Josh Benson via Twitter
Flooded street in Panama City Beach, Florida. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Trees laying across a house in Panama City Beach, Florida. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 12,128,406 — Total deaths: 551,552 — Total recoveries — 6,650,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 3,088,913 — Total deaths: 132,934 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 36,979,745Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. 1 🐂 thing: How the world could monitor for potential pandemic animal viruses.
2 hours ago - Science

More young people are getting — and spreading — the coronavirus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More young people are being infected with the coronavirus, and even though they're less likely to die from it, experts warn the virus' spread among young adults may further fuel outbreaks across the United States.

Why it matters: Some people in their 20s and 30s face serious health complications from COVID-19, and a surge in cases among young people gives the virus a bigger foothold, increasing the risk of infection for more vulnerable people.

Joint Chiefs chairman condemns Confederate symbols

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley criticized Confederate symbols before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, and called the Civil War an "act of treason."

Why it matters: Milley said that minority service members — which he noted make up 43% of the U.S. military — may feel uncomfortable that Army bases are named for Confederate generals who "fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors."