Lab capacity has not increased as much as hoped. Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Commercial labs are in a precarious financial position, as the overwhelming demand for coronavirus tests is not close to making up the revenue of other tests that aren't being ordered.

Why it matters: Commercial labs are anchoring coronavirus testing, and testing remains paramount to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.

By the numbers: The U.S. is testing about 150,000 people a day, but that testing capacity has barely expanded in April.

  • Hospitals have partially stymied the effort to increase capacity, Nature reported.
  • Large commercial labs, like Quest Diagnostics, also have major backlogs that have slowed test results.

What they're saying: The surging coronavirus demand is pinching them at a time when other revenue is drying up.

  • "During the last two weeks of March, volumes declined in excess of 40% inclusive of COVID-19 testing," Quest said in a financial filing.
  • The second quarter, which runs from April through June, will be "the worst quarter in lab history," analysts at Robert W. Baird & Co. said in an investor note.
  • Labs continue to call for their own bailout so they can ramp up testing. They didn't get one in the most recent stimulus package.

Yes, but: Labs won other sought-after policies, like deferred Medicare cuts, and billions of lab dollars have been squandered on stock buybacks.

  • Quest has repurchased $3.1 billion of its own stock since 2013, and LabCorp's stock buybacks have totaled $1.5 billion since 2015. Both companies also have a combined $2 billion remaining for stock buybacks.

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Senate to vote on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation on Oct. 26

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Capitol on Oct. 20. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Senate will vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court next Monday, Oct. 26, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday.

The big picture: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote this Thursday to advance Barrett's nomination to the full Senate floor. Democrats have acknowledged that there's nothing procedurally that they can do to stop Barrett's confirmation, which will take place just one week out from Election Day.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.