Apr 28, 2020

Axios PM

Happy Tuesday! Today's PM — edited by Shane Savitsky — is 477 words, a 2-minute read.

  • Tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET,  a group of our expert reporters — Caitlin Owens, Sara Fischer, Dion Rabouin, Ina Fried, Margaret Talev, Kendall Baker and Sam Baker — are answering your questions via a Twitter video Q&A on how the coronavirus is impacting the media industry.
  • Tweet your questions using #AskAxios and watch tomorrow on Twitter!

🚨 Situational awareness: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell panned President Trump's idea to fund infrastructure investment in the next stimulus bill during a call with Republican senators, scoops Axios' Jonathan Swan.

  • "We need to keep the White House in the box," he said.
1 big thing: Coronavirus invades our dreams

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's not just you. People around the world are having their dreams invaded — and sleep sabotaged — as the coronavirus pandemic upends our daily lives.

  • "Waking life itself for many has taken on an odd, dreamlike air. For populations unexpectedly and indefinitely confined to their homes, timekeeping no longer seems staked to the orderly movements of the sun, but tied to a cloud selected at random," writes the N.Y. Times' Caity Weaver.

The big picture: Harvard professor Deirdre Barrett tells the AP that most of us are having anxiety dreams, perhaps overwhelmed by "stand-ins for the virus: swarms of bugs, slithering worms, witches, grasshoppers with fangs."

  • Or one's subconscious frets about the pitfalls of our new normal, like "being in crowded public places without a mask or proper social distancing."
  • But front-line health workers "are the ones who look like a trauma population. They are having flat-out nightmares that reenact the things they’re experiencing," Barrett says.

Talking about your dreams, given the emotional vulnerability attached, can help jump-start your connections with others during this isolating period of history, Swansea University professor Mark Blagrove told Vice.

  • One way to do so? Anonymously, via an Instagram account like "QuaranDreamin," which has popped up to share our collective "dreams from self-isolation."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Navy's Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds flew over New York City this afternoon to honor first responders.

2. Catch up quick

Photo via YouTube

  1. 2020 latest: Hillary Clinton endorsed Joe Biden during a virtual town hall — A timeline of Tara Reade's sexual assault allegations against Biden.
  2. Public health latest: Confirmed U.S. coronavirus cases topped 1 million, per Johns Hopkins data — Meatpacking plants will stay open under an order from President Trump — JetBlue is the first major U.S. airline to require passengers to wear masks.
  3. Federal government latest: The House won't return from recess next week.
  4. Business latest: TripAdvisor slashed 25% of its workforce — Southwest Airlines posted its first loss in nearly a decade.
3. 1 helpful snack

A mound of french fries in Antwerp in happier times. Photo: Barrie Fanton/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hundreds of thousands of pounds of potatoes are at risk unless Belgians eat more french fries during the coronavirus crisis, Romain Cools, the secretary-general of the country's potato industry group, told CNBC.

  • "We're working with supermarkets to see whether we can launch a campaign asking Belgians to do something for the sector by eating fries — especially frozen fries — twice a week," he said.

The big picture: Frozen potatoes account for 75% of Belgium's potato processing capacity, and demand has been crushed with restaurants shuttered and freezers filled up.