Apr 9, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 487 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨Markets finished up today despite the second-worst jobless report in history. That's largely thanks to the Fed's monster package of loans for businesses, state and city governments.

1 big thing: American jobs decimated
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via St. Louis Fed; Graphic: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Sentence from a nightmare: 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, a decline from the previous week's 6.9 million.

The big picture: Over the past three weeks, 1 in 10 working-age adults filed for unemployment, Axios' Courtenay Brown notes.

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via St. Louis Fed; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: We're not even close to understanding the long-term ramifications of America rocketing from sub-4% unemployment to what could be Depression levels in about a month.

  • This is just the first wave, since we don't know how many businesses will fail while waiting on reopening or bailouts.
  • Once the lockdowns end, we don't know how businesses will behave in a world where the next lockdown is just a new outbreak away.

But we do know:

  • More pain is on the way, and it will be felt with savage inequity.
  • We mustn't become numb to the scale of these numbers.
  • We each must play our role: If you're not an essential worker, that means staying home and avoiding group gatherings.

The bottom line: Now is the time to behave in ways that you can recount with pride for future generations.

  • What's next: President Trump is preparing to launch a second coronavirus task force focused on reviving the U.S. economy, driven in part by the overwhelming number of Americans who have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell practices social distancing while speaking with a reporter outside the Senate chamber, April 9.

2. Catch up quick
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis puts on a rubber glove before the start of a press conference, April 8. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
  1. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under coronavirus public health order Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  2. 2020 latest: Bernie Sanders' campaign will let former staffers keep their health insurance benefits through October. The Biden campaign announced two new policies on health care and student debt.
  3. World latest: Boris Johnson is moved out of ICU but remains in hospital with the coronavirus.
  4. Oil latest: OPEC+, led by mega-producers Saudi Arabia and Russia, reached a tentative agreement to impose large cuts in oil production as the coronavirus pandemic fuels an unprecedented collapse in demand, per Bloomberg and Reuters.
  5. 🎧 Podcast: Your hydroxychloroquine questions answered.
3. 1 helpful thing: Volunteer heroes

Photos: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Volunteers are the tip of the spear for a grassroots effort to keep Washington, D.C.’s most vulnerable neighborhoods fed during the coronavirus lockdown, AP reports.

Southeast D.C. scenes, clockwise from top left: 

  • Kahlil Middleton, 5, center, looks inside a bag containing a hot meal held by his mother, Alexis Whitley.
  • Volunteers Regina Summers, left, and Tonisha Wallace, use hand sanitizer between donated food deliveries.
  • Volunteers India Blocker-Ford, center, D.J. Wood, left, and Regina Summers, right, sort donated bags of hot meals while children wait for the food to be distributed.
  • Volunteer Kevin Coleman, center, is hugged by a young man who he coached in football the previous year, as volunteers wait for people to come and get groceries they were delivering to an apartment complex.