Mar 17, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

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

1 big thing: The pain has started

A theater worker dismantles the sign at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston, Virginia. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Brace yourselves for one of the toughest weeks in recent American history.

Why it matters: This is all the tougher because the hardships are intentional results of attempting to prevent a much greater calamity, Justin writes.

  • Service workers across the country are out of work after restaurants and bars closed up over the last few days.
  • 45% of all hotel jobs have been or will be eliminated in the next few weeks, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.
  • "Much worse" than 9/11 for the travel industry: United Airlines says that this crisis is a greater threat to its existence than the aftermath of Sept. 11.
  • The shelter-in-place orders are coming to the East Coast. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio told residents to get ready to experience what's already happening on the West Coast.
  • Add to that the chance of tens of thousands of oil industry job losses, with the Saudis and Russians escalating their price war.

The big picture: It's going to keep getting worse for a while, even if the government and private citizens do everything right.

  • When we get testing up to speed, America's case count will soar.
  • As we get social distancing to work properly, big chunks of America's economy will shut down.
  • If/when we flatten the curve, getting things back to normal will be a start-stop process, denying people the stability that's so important to everyday life.

The bottom line: This will hit harder with local operations than big national firms.

  • In D.C. today, beloved Compass Coffee laid off 150 of its 189 workers.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A view of Miami's South Beach you rarely see after city officials closed an area popular with spring breakers.

2. Catch up quick

Photos clockwise from top left: AP, AP, Getty Images, AP

  1. Tom Brady — the 🐐 — is leaving the New England Patriots. Go deeper.
  2. Stocks closed up 6% today, making up almost half of the losses from the stock market's worst day since 1987. Go deeper.
  3. The Chinese government will revoke press credentials for American journalists who work for the N.Y. Times, WashPost and Wall Street Journal. Go deeper.
  4. Uber suspended its Uber Pool service in the United States and Canada in an attempt to help protect riders and drivers from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Go deeper.

Axios' Coronavirus Dashboard

3. 1 helpful thing

For the rest of this week in PM, we'll be focusing this item on ways ordinary readers can help those who are hurting because of the coronavirus outbreak. Today's comes via a hat tip from Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.

Bay Area Good Samaritans are cooking up a great idea on how to help medical staff as well as the suffering restaurant industry:

  • "Together we will provide [staff at local hospitals] high quality dinners each night by partnering with local restaurants."
  • "Costs are about $1,000 per meal to feed 50 healthcare workers. ... You can buy one meal or multiple meals. Unfortunately $1,000 is the minimum as we need to make the payment of the meals simple."
  • "If anyone in our tech community can figure out an easier way to do this and maybe take fractional pledges please contact us!"

Bonus: Axios' Dan Primack asked his Pro Rata newsletter readers to help build a joke book for our kids to read, as we try to balance working from home with child care/makeshift school.

  • What kind of bagel can fly? A plain bagel.
  • Enjoy.
Mike Allen