Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg will pay for the nearly 500 staffers on his presidential campaign to continue working through November to support whoever wins the 2020 Democratic nomination, even if it's not him, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The former New York mayor is focused on getting President Trump out of the White House, and his vast operation — focused beyond the traditional early states — could provide a strong foundation in key battleground states, like North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

  • The billionaire has also established a large tech operation, which will help the future nominee compete with Trump's digital prowess.
  • Bloomberg has pledged to spend $15 million on efforts to drive voter turnout, and his staffers could help that push effort in key states.

What they're saying: "Mike Bloomberg is either going to be the nominee or the most important person supporting the Democratic nominee for president," Kevin Sheekey, Bloomberg’s campaign manager, told NBC.

The catch: Bloomberg's staff won't directly work for the Democratic nominee's campaign since the cost of operations would exceed federal contribution limits on his behalf.

  • The group would instead operate as an independent group privately funded by Bloomberg.

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.