Jan 23, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told CNBC the investment bank won’t help companies go public unless they have at least one board member who adds diversity, “with a focus on women.” Go deeper.

1 big thing: "Emergency in China"
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Data: National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The coronavirus isn't yet "a global health emergency," but it's definitely an emergency in China.

The big picture: Coronavirus "has raised the specter of a repeat of the SARS epidemic" in 2002–03 that killed roughly 800 worldwide, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • The death toll is now 18, including one man 600 miles from Wuhan.
  • Major cities have canceled large public gatherings for the Lunar New Year holiday, the most important in the country.
  • Multiple cities are on relative lockdown in hopes of containing the virus.

Why it matters: "Only five global public health emergency declarations have been made in the past. The decisions are fraught, with health authorities wary of causing panic, or of suggesting that governments cannot handle outbreaks on their own," per the Times.

  • The World Health Organization declined to make this declaration today, and it will meet again in 10 days to determine whether to declare an emergency.

Between the lines: Some say the lack of a declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) may lessen international focus and funding needed to address a potential threat, but others worry that such a declaration could limit the travel and trade important to many people's livelihoods, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.

Bonus: Impeachment updates

Rep. Sylvia Garcia. Photo: Senate TV via AP

Highlights from Day 2:

  • House manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) spelled out a key point in Democrats' argument against Trump campaign framing that the president asked Ukraine to investigate corruption by looking into Biden: that "Trump didn't care about any of this until 2019," when Biden looked like a 2020 front-runner.
  • "I was very surprised that they chose to make Hunter Biden so central to this presentation," Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told reporters today.
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) invoked Lev Parnas' recently released "hand-written notes" outlining the alleged pre-condition of the call between Trump and Zelensky.

Go deeper.

2. What you missed
  1. “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra confronted Harvey Weinstein from the witness stand, testifying that he overpowered and raped her and made other crude overtures, the AP reports.
  2. The Doomsday Clock was set to 100 seconds from midnight — the closest it has ever been to mankind's metaphorical destruction since its creation in 1947. Go deeper.
  3. Israeli leaders have been invited to the White House for discussions on President Trump's long-promised Mideast peace plan before it is unveiled. Go deeper.
  4. "PBS NewsHour" co-founder and longtime anchor Jim Lehrer died at 85, according to a statement from his colleague, Judy Woodruff.
  5. A new Trump administration regulation that will make it harder for some pregnant women to receive tourist visas, first reported by Axios, goes into effect tomorrow.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Obama portraits are going on a nationwide tour that includes Chicago, NYC, L.A., Atlanta and Houston, WashPost reports.

Why it matters: The paintings have brought in millions of visitors to the capital's National Portrait Gallery, where they are currently housed, notes Axios' Rashaan Ayesh.

  • Artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald are the first African American artists to ever be selected to paint gallery portraits of a president or first lady.