Good Wednesday morning. It's Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
U.S. public-health officials' warnings about the coronavirus are increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad," Axios health care editor Sam Baker writes.
Where it stands: Cases are now piling up across Asia and into the Middle East, where it’s also spreading locally, even from people who weren’t exposed in China.
You don't need to start panicking about the virus.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The coronavirus has already forced millions to work from home in China, and as the outbreak goes global, remote work could become a vital public health strategy, Bryan Walsh writes in his Axios Future newsletter, which returns today.
What's happening: The videoconferencing company Zoom has been one of the few stocks to rise even as fears about the coronavirus pull down the market.
📱 Sign up for Bryan Walsh's debut issue of Axios Future, out this afternoon.
A new urgency permeated the performance of nearly every Democrat during the South Carolina debate last night, as Bernie Sanders threatens to run away with an insurmountable delegate lead after Super Tuesday, six days from now.
Our top takeaways, narrated by Axios' Zach Basu:
1. The usually reticent Joe Biden, who has vowed to win Saturday's South Carolina primary, barked at moderators for cutting into his time.
2. Pete Buttigieg spoke pointedly about racial justice and policing, an issue that he said he approaches "with humility."
3. Elizabeth Warren, who saw a bump in national polling after her breakout debate performance last week, clearly saw her critical treatment of Bloomberg as her best shot to save her campaign.
4. Establishment Democrats have been sounding the alarm about how a ticket led by Sanders, a democratic socialist, will affect down-ballot races in the moderate districts that helped Democrats take the House in 2018. That concern manifested on the debate stage for the first time.
5. The dominant attack line against Sanders this week from Republicans — and even some Democrats — was his praise for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's literacy program.
Between the lines: The coronavirus; the humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, Syria; and President Trump and the rule of law — all massive global storylines — received little to no attention at the debate.
🗞️ P.S. ... The Boston Globe endorsed Warren, calling her "a leader with the qualifications, the track record, and the tenacity to ... advance a progressive agenda."
Southern rural areas have seen the highest levels of business deaths since the Great Recession, with African American communities bearing the brunt of economic decline, Axios' Kim Hart, author of Axios Cities, writes from a new report by the progressive Center for American Progress.
Some pockets of rural America are seeing business growth, even though it pales in comparison to larger cities:
Wall Street's two-day coronavirus crash is a wake-up call for Silicon Valley, Axios managing editor Scott Rosenberg writes from the Bay Area.
A coronavirus-triggered recession could affect tech in unexpected ways.
A market retreat could also reshape the inside-the-Beltway critique of Big Tech.
Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images
In a move that shocked the media industry, Bob Iger said yesterday that he would step down from his role as CEO of the Walt Disney Company after leading the entertainment giant to unprecedented success during his 15-year run, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer writes.
During his tenure, Disney successfully turned around its animation and studio businesses — and added huge names like Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox to its portfolio.
Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
The attacks will be targeted to specific audiences in each state, based on rich data gathered beginning last August. The super PAC has pulled together about 500 pages of research on four of the five candidates, with about 300 pages on Buttigieg, given his shorter record.
This is the original artwork for a "Flash Gordon" comic strip published in 1934.
Why it matters: The series quickly grew in influence, spawning movies and inspiring later science-fiction hits.
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