⚡ Breaking: The U.S. began withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the military said today, taking a step forward on the peace deal with the Taliban.
🎤 D.C. readers: You're invited ... Today at 8 a.m., please join White House editor Margaret Talev and me in downtown D.C. (14th and L) for an Axios News Shapers event on cybersecurity.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Coronavirus is already the most serious threat to the U.S. economy since the financial crisis, and the dominoes are aligned for a severe recession that could erase much of the 11-year recovery, Axios' Dion Rabouin and Dan Primack write.
One big difference between 2020 and 2008 is breadth:
The U.S. economy has been something of a ticking time bomb for some time.
President Trump said late yesterday that he would work with Senate Republicans on a "very substantial" payroll tax cut and relief for hourly workers.
Threat level: Government also increasingly looks broken. The dysfunction in Washington is dimming hopes for major fiscal stimulus that economists say would be needed to offset the outbreak's negative impact.
SurveyMonkey finds potentially pernicious partisan gaps on COVID-19 perceptions:
📊 Similar finding in a Quinnipiac University poll out yesterday: Democrats and Republicans have polarized views on both the danger the coronavirus poses and how the Trump administration is handling the outbreak, Axios' Ursula Perano writes.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Federal regulators are cracking down on scams advertising unproven coronavirus treatments, but those frauds are likely to continue, Axios' Bob Herman and Marisa Fernandez write.
The FDA and FTC issued warning letters yesterday for seven fraudulent products.
Flashback: Scammers have run this con many times before.
Reality check: No drugs have been approved to treat this strain of coronavirus.
Mail-in primary ballots for Washington state await counting in King County, which has had the country's highest number of coronavirus deaths. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images
Today's "Super Tuesday 2.0" primaries in six states are a real-time test of how coronavirus could alter presidential voting — especially in Washington, the state with the largest number of U.S. deaths to date, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
The big picture: Michigan and Washington — the two states with the largest number of delegates in today's contests — represent two important tests of whether Bernie Sanders can regain momentum with Democrats as Joe Biden leads the race toward the nomination.
Facebook has added two new members to its board: Nancy Killefer, a former government official and longtime McKinsey executive, and Tracey T. Travis, the chief financial executive of The Estee Lauder Companies.
🇮🇹 All of Italy is on lockdown, affecting 60 million people: The government ordered everyone to stay put except for work and emergencies, banned public gatherings and suspended sporting events, including soccer matches. (Reuters)
🇨🇳 Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Wuhan, the center of the global outbreak, as parts of his country return to normalcy.
🇺🇸 Retiring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the incoming White House chief of staff, is the latest conservative lawmaker to self-quarantine after coming into contact with someone at CPAC who tested positive.
Self-isolation on Capitol Hill. Photo: Padmananda Rama/AP
"Business lobbies are pushing a range of proposals such as extending unemployment insurance, broadening business entertainment tax breaks and offering tax credits to employers of quarantined workers, according to representatives interviewed by Bloomberg News."
"Democratic leaders in Congress have said they want to see paid sick leave and warned that any package should give priority to workers’ needs over corporate interests. They have also called for enhanced unemployment insurance."
Vice President Pence tweeted these four info cards:
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Astronomy is still dealing with its own #MeToo reckoning, Axios' Miriam Kramer and Alison Snyder write.
Why it matters: Harassment, bias and discrimination lead to the underrepresentation of women — and particularly women of color, women with disabilities and LGBTQ+ women — in the sciences.
Ariana Grande was the most tweeted about woman in the past year, topping Hillary Clinton and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, writes Axios' Marisa Fernandez, via data reported by Twitter.
Most-tweeted-about women globally:
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