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⏰ Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,081 words ... 4 minutes.
A rolling, living experiment — and preview of coming attractions for the rest of the country — has begun in Wisconsin, after a surprise court ruling made the Badger State the first in the nation where businesses can reopen.
Some bars filled within hours, picking up their St. Patrick's Day celebrations where they'd left off.
Why it matters: For several years, Wisconsin has been a testing ground for GOP
maximalism on labor, gerrymandering and other fronts — especially under the previous governor, Scott Walker (R), Axios' Scott Rosenberg writes.
The big picture: Lawsuits challenging lockdown measures, in whole or in part, are pending across the country. But they're mostly failing, Axios' Sam Baker reports:
What's next: The Wisconsin governor announced that his administration is working toward a new administrative rule for managing the crisis, a process he had warned could take weeks and might lead nowhere, AP reports.
Between the lines: In a presidential election year, four big battleground states — Florida, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania — are among the states where small businesses report being hit hardest.
Thomas Sullivan, vice president of small business policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tells Axios the survey reflects what he's hearing.
The CDC finally released long-delayed reopening guidance for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit, and bars and restaurants.
See the checklists:
🍟 In a sign of reopening complexity, McDonald's issued a 59-page guide for franchisees, urging them to close public soda fountains or deploy a staff member to monitor them, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription).
Coronavirus hospitalizations have declined in many states — another indication that social distancing has been effective, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
President Trump has called himself a "wartime president" — and that idea is sticking with some Iowa swing voters who think he should be the one to see this through, Alexi McCammond writes.
At our (virtual) Engagious/FPG focus group, we heard from eight voters who flipped from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016.
Reality check: Polls show more Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the coronavirus than approve, and more than half of Americans say they're very concerned about the economy right now.
"Roughly 100,000 stores are expected to close over the next five years — more than triple the number that shut during the previous recession — as e-commerce jumps to a quarter of U.S. retail sales from 15% last year, UBS estimates." —The Wall Street Journal
In this weekend's N.Y. Times Magazine, Maggie Jones, with haunting photography by Philip Montgomery, writes about funeral homes, overwhelmed with bodies, struggling to fulfill their mission to grieving families:
As the Bronx has changed over generations, so have the Farengas’ clients — in addition to Italians, Irish and Puerto Rican families, Nick and Sal work with families who are Albanian, Guyanese, Nigerian, Indian and Vietnamese. The brothers know all about Irish wakes and large Italian funerals but also that Albanians sometimes ship the dead home, to be buried in their ancestral ground. Many Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists hold ceremonies at crematories where they witness the body being placed in the retort, as the cremation furnaces are known.
At the Michelin-starred Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., mannequins at every other table provide social distance ahead of a May 29 reopening.
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