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Situational awareness: The White House has proposed a $1 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Local leaders have seized the reins during the coronavirus outbreak, amid frustrations that the federal government's efforts have fallen short.
The big picture: Governors and mayors have been the ones dictating the pace of the response — closing schools, banning large gatherings and updating their residents. But cities also say they need more money from the federal government and more help understanding how they're allowed to use the money they have.
Driving the news: The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday requested $250 billion in flexible, emergency assistance to cities.
But it's unclear how that money is being dispersed to localities.
"It's safe to say we are in very uncharted territory, but we are improvising and working together to get through this. Now more than ever we need a strong federal, state and local partnership to address this crisis."— Mary Ann Borgeson, commissioner of Douglas County in Nebraska
Between the lines: Americans are putting a lot of faith in their local governments during this outbreak, according to the debut installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, out today.
What to watch: Local leaders are also trying to make sure Washington, D.C., understands the full extent of their public health and economic challenges as Americans' anxieties rise.
Puerta del Sol square in Madrid on Monday. Photo: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP via Getty Images
People experiencing homelessness don't have access to the recommended precautions to stave off the coronavirus.
Why it matters: "People sleeping outside in crowded and unclean situations could rapidly expand the spread of the disease," Batko said. "We have to rapidly expand shelter capacity."
What's happening: Half of the country's unsheltered homeless population lives in California, which is taking aggressive steps. Gov. Gavin Newsom is securing empty hotel and motel rooms for shelter.
The catch: Despite outreach efforts, homeless programs rely on funding, supplies and volunteers, all of which are in short supply.
Check out our Coronavirus Dashboard for quick access to the latest news.
Jen Lingo, R.N., walks a resident of the assisted living center in Dayton General Hospital back to her room. Dayton, a small town in rural southeast Washington, has an aging population, had its first positive test for Coronavirus and is waiting on results of more tests. Photo: Nick Otto for the Washington Post
The coronavirus can spread faster in densely populated cities than in rural areas, but rural America has a higher-risk population and fewer safety-net programs for people who get sick.
By the numbers:
Don't forget: Large portions of rural America are still struggling to recover from the Great Recession in the late 2000s, so it will be even harder for them to rebound from another economic downtown.
What's needed: "To assist vulnerable communities, policymakers should provide resources to the existing institutions in these areas, such as community centers, places of worship, and schools," wrote Olugbenga Ajilore, senior economist at the Center for American Progress, in a recent analysis. "We must provide access to diagnosis, medical treatment, and eventually vaccines without cost."
People walk the streets of Soho and Chinatown wearing face masks in London. Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Even before cities began shutting down restaurants and bars, Chinatown neighborhoods around the world were among the first to see a significant slowdown in business — mostly due to consumers' misguided fears about a virus that originated thousands of miles away.
"There's a second virus, which is xenophobia," Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation in New York City, told WNYC last week.
Details: In Houston, a false rumor in January about an infected worker in Chinatown caused business to plunge by more than 50%, the owners of Mala Sichuan Bistro told the Houston Chronicle. Members of the kitchen staff have already been laid off.
The big picture: Chinatown businesses felt the pain early, and now the rapid economic slowdown is a serious threat to small businesses and restaurants everywhere.
Hundreds of people line up to enter a Costco store in Novato, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Pollution plummeted in Italy after coronavirus shut the country down (Washington Post)
COVID-19 could stress mass transit budgets (Marketplace)
San Francisco's shelter-in-place order shows U.S. what's to come (Bloomberg)
No part of the U.S. has enough hospital beds for a coronavirus crisis (Axios)
The places a COVID-19 recession will hit hardest (Brookings Institution)
States band together vs. coronavirus (Pew Stateline)
Mike Bloomberg pledges $40 million to fight coronavirus around the world (ABC News)
Pandemic provides defining moment for government leaders (Governing)
April Moses and Dorman Page had planned to get hitched in Las Vegas this week, but the COVID-19 health crisis forced them to cancel their trip, the Detroit Free Press reports.
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