Mar 11, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 438 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨 Situational awareness: New York City and Chicago are among the cities to cancel their St. Patrick's Day parades, a sign that officials are taking social distancing seriously.

  • Breaking: March Madness will be played in empty arenas, the NCAA said today.
1 big thing: Grim day for the history books

Judie Shape, who has tested positive for the coronavirus, waves to her daughter, Lori Spencer, as they visit on the phone and look at each other through a window at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Wash. Photo: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The coronavirus is now officially a pandemic, and the S&P 500 is right on the edge of ending the 11-year bull market that followed the Great Recession.

The big picture: Even well-intentioned moves like closing offices and schools can put millions at risk because they don't have paid sick leave or are students who rely on school for housing and meals.

Between generations, it's the perfect moment for young and healthy people to do their part to avoid putting the sick and elderly at risk.

  • Self-quarantining isn't just protecting yourself, it's to slow the spread so those who need hospital beds can get them.
  • Be smart: Now is not the time to buy a cheap plane ticket to see grandma.

Why it matters: This is the time when institutions like government and media need the credibility and trust to tell people hard truths.

  • "Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly," the WHO's director said today. "It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."
  • Congress' in-house doctor expects 70 million–150 million Americans to contract the virus, he told staffers this week behind closed doors.

The bottom line: It appears that American politicians are finally grappling with the scale of this threat, more than a month after the WHO declared a global emergency.

  • President Trump, who claimed on Feb. 24 that the virus was "very much under control in the USA," will deliver a statement tonight at 8pm ET.
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images

A lab technician begins semi-automated testing for COVID-19 at Northwell Health Labs in Lake Success, New York.

  • An emergency use authorization by the FDA allows Northwell to move from manual testing to semi-automated.
2. Catch up quick
  1. Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and a criminal sexual act. Go deeper.
  2. Chinese authorities are going on the offensive to rewrite the narrative that the coronavirus pandemic is Beijing's fault. Go deeper.
  3. Bernie Sanders is staying in the 2020 race, and he won the North Dakota primary.
  4. The global entertainment market topped $100 billion last year, a first for the industry. Go deeper.
  5. The Supreme Court blocked a federal injunction that would have halted the "Remain in Mexico" policy. Go deeper.
  6. Bonus: Starting tomorrow, you may receive an invitation to respond online to the 2020 census.
3. 1 food thing
Photo: McDonald's

Beginning tomorrow, McDonald's will add a four-patty Double Big Mac to its menu for a limited time, per CNN.

  • The Double Big Mac, which costs $5.49, has 720 calories and 43 grams of fat.
  • A regular Big Mac (two patties) costs $3.99 and has 540 calories and 30 grams of fat.
Mike Allen