🌞 Happy Thursday! Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,171 words ... 4½ minutes.
Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, but the administration is still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts, Axios' Alayna Treene and Sam Baker write.
Trump's coronavirus press conference last evening was all over the map:
Trump surprised some in the administration when he announced that Vice President Mike Pence would coordinate the administration’s response, especially given Pence is heavily involved in Trump's re-election campaign.
Between the lines: Trump wants the panic over the virus to end as soon as possible to return normalcy to the markets.
President Trump has warned HHS Secretary Alex Azar, along with other officials, not to criticize China's response to the virus.
Many U.S. hospitals have been stocking extra supplies and refreshing disaster preparation plans over the past month in the event the coronavirus became more prominent domestically, Axios health care business reporter Bob Herman writes.
The American Hospital Association told its members last week that they "should be prepared for the possible arrival of patients with COVID-19," directing them to use a CDC checklist for coronavirus patients and to monitor protective equipment needs.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia, and heightened warnings from U.S. officials, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes.
The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington.
Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida told the conference and asserted in prepared remarks that the central bank was evaluating the outbreak and did not want to overreact.
A CDC survey puts the obesity rate for U.S. adults at 42%.
Why it matters: The findings suggest that more Americans will get diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
For the second straight week, Bernie Sanders has hit the high watermark for online attention in the Democratic primary, generating 24 million interactions (likes, comments, shares) on social media last week, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios' Neal Rothschild.
Worth noting: Sanders' numbers don't come close to those of President Trump, who generated 64 million interactions last week — which wasn't particularly newsy by Trump standards.
At the Capitol, Democratic lawmakers openly expressed anxiety that self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders could cost them House control if he's the nominee, and questions abounded over what party leaders should do, AP reports.
It's the same story with party officials out in the country ... "[D]ozens of interviews with Democratic establishment leaders this week show that they are ... willing to risk intraparty damage to stop his nomination at the national convention in July if they get the chance," the N.Y. Times reports.
Speaker Pelosi told a closed-door caucus meeting, per an aide:
Photo: Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Reuters
"A Molson Coors Beverage Co. employee has shot five co-workers to death before taking his own life at the company’s beer-brewing complex in Milwaukee, the latest episode in a rising tide of gun violence already reverberating in the U.S. presidential race," Reuters reports.
Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle. Photo: Ted S. Warren/AP
With the opening of its first large-format cashier-less grocery store in Seattle this week, Amazon is on its way to further expanding its physical footprint across the U.S., Axios' Erica Pandey writes.
The bottom line: Walmart's ubiquitousness in American life is thanks to the relationship it has built with its shoppers through groceries — and now Amazon may begin to shake that dominance.
A Broadway play was performed in Madison Square Garden for the first time yesterday, with an electric performance of "To Kill a Mockingbird" for 18,000 students, AP's Mark Kennedy reports.
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