September 22, 2020
Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 394 words, a 2-minute read.
1 big thing: 200,000 Americans gone too soon
Today marks another devastating milestone in the 2020 history books:
- February 29: First reported U.S. coronavirus death.
- May 23: U.S. death toll hits 100,000.
- September 22: U.S. death toll hits 200,000, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.
The big picture: The world's most powerful country has abjectly failed in its response to this pandemic.
- The federal response has been abysmal, ranging from procurement disasters such as PPE to signs of rot at revered institutions like the CDC.
- Many states made errors around quarantines and face mask rules.
- The citizenry isn't immune from blame: America has been an outlier among its peers for its culture wars over face masks and social distancing.
The bottom line: Deaths keep coming — we’re averaging roughly 830 per day — even as the country increasingly sees the pandemic as background noise, reports Axios' Sam Baker.
Below: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D-Ariz.) visits the COVID Memorial Project, which placed 20,000 flags on the National Mall.
2. Pic du jour
Health care workers line up for free personal protective equipment in front of a mural by artist Romero Britto at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
- Hundreds of workers showed up for the PPE given out by the New York nonprofit Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes.
3. Catch up quick
- Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope for the November election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
- Fox News anchor Chris Wallace's topics for the first presidential debate next week: Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election. Go deeper.
- Sen. Mitt Romney supports moving forward with a Senate vote on President Trump's selection to replace late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Go deeper.
- Trump plans to meet with shortlisted Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa during a campaign visit to Florida on Friday, Axios' Jonathan Swan and Alayna Treene report.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy. Go deeper.
- 🎧 Axios Re:Cap digs into the business of immigrant detention, including oversight and profit incentives, with Jonathan Blitzer, a staff writer for The New Yorker. Listen here.
4. 1 fun thing
Sign of the times: A new platform called Alt is launching Oct. 1 to allow investors to manage trading cards and other alternative assets similarly to the way they manage more traditional assets like stocks and bonds, reports Axios' Kendall Baker.
- Alt paid $1.8 million for a LeBron James rookie card in July, and a record $1.81 million this week for a Giannis Antetokounmpo rookie card.