🗳️ Good Wednesday morning. Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,399 words ... 4½ minutes.
Never in American history has a presidential candidate spent more to get less than Mike Bloomberg, making his buy-a-nomination bid a big bust, Axios CEO Jim VandeHei writes.
What’s next: Look for Bloomberg to drop out as soon as this morning, and try to save face by promising to spend a helluva lot more to defeat President Trump with someone other than him.
A nighttime Twitter thread by Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey gives the candidate an exit strategy if he wants one, and space to redefine success:
Super Tuesday made Joe Biden the 77-year-old Comeback Kid, clipping Bernie Sanders' wings and transforming the Democratic primary into a two-man race.
The big picture, from Axios politics editor Margaret Talev: This may not be over for a while. Sanders' enduring appeal to younger voters, Latinos and progressives foreshadows a long fight.
Details: Biden was the projected winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
At Sanders' rally in Vermont, Axios' Alexi McCammond heard sneers and anger about "the establishment."
How it's playing ...
"At least 24 people are dead after a powerful and fast-moving storm cut across Middle Tennessee in the early hours of Tuesday morning, dropping tornadoes that roared up to 165 miles per hour," reports Nashville's The Tennessean.
An advocacy group for college athletes urged the NCAA to consider holding March Madness with no fans as a way to protect against the coronavirus, and the NCAA didn't dismiss the idea out of hand, AP reports.
Total attendance for the 2019 men's tournament was 688,753, an average of 19,132 per game.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Our expensive, inaccessible health care system could easily make it harder to control the coronavirus' spread, failing individual patients and endangering more people, Axios' Caitlin Owens writes.
Between the lines: A public health issue like the coronavirus isn't just another health care problem to add to the list. Rather, all of those other issues directly complicate the response to the virus.
The uninsured: Nearly 28 million Americans remain uninsured, despite the insurance gains made under the Affordable Care Act.
Costs: Even for patients who have insurance, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs have been steadily rising.
What's next: The Trump administration appears to be taking these concerns seriously. It's considering using a national disaster program to pay providers for coronavirus care of uninsured people, the Wall Street Journal reported.
"Iran's growing stockpile of nuclear fuel recently crossed a critical threshold, according to a report issued [yesterday] by international inspectors," the N.Y. Times' David E. Sanger and William J. Broad write:
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The growing online trade in copycat goods is a new target in D.C.'s war on Big Tech, as policymakers pressure companies to take more responsibility for what happens on their platforms, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill writes.
Driving the news: Lawmakers want to crack down on the sales of fake products online, with two House committees raising the issue this week.
"Hundreds of thousands of single-family homes are now in the hands of giant companies — squeezing renters for revenue," Francesca Mari writes for the N.Y. Times Magazine.
2020 coverage has taken over our televisions, with politics dominating prime time for the second week in a row, AP's David Bauder writes:
The three news networks were the most popular networks on cable.
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