Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/Getty Images

Billionaire presidential contender Mike Bloomberg received an extension through March 20 that allows him to keep details about his personal wealth confidential until after Americans vote in the 2020 Democratic primaries, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Billionaires have been a focal point so far in the 2020 election, and have been lamented by other candidates for using their vast wealth to buy the nomination.

The state of play: Bloomberg received an extended deadline to file his financial disclosure more than two weeks after Super Tuesday.

  • He has already poured $200 million into TV and digital ads, the Times notes.
  • Bloomberg entered the race in November, months after his rivals. If he drops out before March 20, he may never have to share his financial particulars.

The big picture: Transparency has become important to the 2020 race since President Trump has refused to share his tax returns. "Many Democrats do not want to cede their political advantage on the topic in 2020," the Times writes.

Our thought bubble, via Dan Primack: Bloomberg, as one of America's most successful living entrepreneurs, has created and amassed a lot of wealth.

  • There should be a thorough accounting of how he made his money, and how it affected others along the way.
  • If there are legitimate criticisms, let 'em fly. Just as they should for any other part of his professional and personal conduct, in both the private and public sectors.
  • And there is certainly value in a robust debate over the future viability of plutocracy in America, including the idea of taxing wealth (as opposed to only taxing income).

Bloomberg is worth an estimated $50 billion, per the Times.

His campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: Michael Bloomberg on the issues, in under 500 words

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33 mins ago - Health

239 scientists call on WHO to recognize coronavirus as airborne

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries is calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The WHO has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protesters toss Columbus statue into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Piazza in Little Italy on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.