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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
From hastily-chartered superyachts to fortresslike country estates, the wealthiest Americans have found places to ride out the pandemic far away from the masses, Axios managing editor Jennifer A. Kingson writes.
Headlines tell the story:
A tale of two pandemics: While the wealthy were among the first in the U.S. to contract the virus (as they're more apt to travel abroad), the brunt of the pandemic has hurt the working poor.
The Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings to slow the virus, AP reports.
Why it matters: The government had been discouraging use by people who aren't medical professionals. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted Feb. 29: "Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus."
A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force's discussion told AP that officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandanas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy.
P.S. ... The White House said a new test of Trump returned a negative result in 15 minutes, and said the president is "healthy and without symptoms."
Lawmakers and staff in both parties worry that the Trump administration may be overwhelmed by the demand for loans from the $2.2 trillion rescue package, and unable to write checks fast enough, Axios' Alayna Treene writes.
The Treasury Department told USA Today that the first batch of stimulus checks will go out in two weeks, meaning about 50 million to 70 million Americans will get the money directly in their bank accounts by April 15.
What's next: The $349 billion relief program for small business kicks off today, and Hill aides say it'll be a test of whether the Small Business Administration can handle the mounting loan requests.
During one of his daily Albany news conferences (which have been getting heavy live pickup by cable news), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, 62, talks with his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, 49, in his home basement.
New data provided to Axios spells out just how outsized a role immigrants play in the high- and low-skilled ends of the economy to keep Americans alive and fed during the coronavirus crisis, Axios' Stef Kight writes.
Reality check: The $2.2 trillion aid package doesn't include assistance for unauthorized immigrants.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
People are more likely to purchase something from a company during and after the coronavirus crisis if that company speaks out appropriately about the pandemic now, Axios' Sara Fischer writes from a new Edelman survey.
Brands are expected to address the coronavirus directly, and in a somber and empathetic tone.
In the Edelman research, roughly two-thirds (66%) say that hearing about the pandemic from brands is comforting and reassuring,
"Lockdowns buy time, an invaluable commodity," The Economist writes in its lead editorial:
When they are lifted, COVID-19 will spread again among people who are still susceptible. But societies can prepare in a way that they never did for the first wave, by equipping health systems with more beds, ventilators and staff. ...
Perhaps, though, no new treatments will be found ... People will have endured months indoors, hurting both social cohesion and their mental health. Year-long lockdowns would cost America and the euro zone a third or so of GDP. ... The capacity of the economy would wither as innovation stalled and skills decayed.
If you feel like you're suddenly spending a surprising amount of time thinking and talking about Anthony Fauci, you're not alone, Axios' Neal Rothschild writes.
What they're saying: Of the top 40 stories about Fauci by interactions (likes, comments, shares) on social media, none had negative sentiment, and several were positively glowing. Those stories included:
On sites with left-leaning audiences, the top Fauci-related stories focused on instances when he contradicted Trump or gave more pessimistic forecasts than the president.
P.S. ... Fauci recently received a security detail, in response to "threats as well as unwelcome communications from fervent admirers." (WashPost)
The New York Times Magazine tells the stories of essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic — in their own words — from flight attendants to grocery store workers to nurse midwives. Their stories are powerful reminders of resilience in the face of imminent danger.
Cover images, supplied by the subjects:
From top: Erika Sawyer (nurse midwife); Dawn Adams (emergency-room doctor); Donell Johnson Jr. (grocer); Chris Reade (firefighter); Karen Raaf (gas-station attendant); Kate Doolittle (physical therapist); Brian J. Bourquin (veterinarian); Jennifer Peverill (food-service manager); Cathryn Crawford (defense lawyer); Tanveer Hussain (pharmacist); Chelsey (flight attendant); Scott C. Campbell (police officer); Steven Barton (funeral director); Debra Holloway (mail carrier); Edvin Quic (food deliveryman); Nikki Grigalunas (homeless-outreach worker); Sgt. First Class Jon Stresing (National Guard).
Above is the Strat-O-Matic baseball board game that Dan Sewell, the AP's Cincinnati correspondent, is playing while self-isolating.
A friend, media attorney Jack Greiner, has organized daily trivia and a Thursday night baseball conference chat among two dozen aficionados.
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