Feb 28, 2020

Axios PM

Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 441 words, a 2 minute read.

🚨 The Dow fell 1.3% today and more than 12% this week, the biggest percentage loss since 2008.

  • In a rare statement, Fed chair Jerome Powell said the coronavirus poses an “evolving risk” to the economy. Go deeper.
1 big thing: The Americans who can't hide from corona

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.

  • Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.
  • And today, the World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to its highest risk level as countries struggle with containing the spread of the virus.

The big picture: People in service jobs or low-wage workers could disproportionately lose some income, compared to those with advanced education or more-skilled professions.

  • Rural Americans sometimes have less reliable Internet access for remote work and remote schooling.
  • Parents may have to scramble as children get pulled out of school and day care.
  • Students on free and reduced lunch risk going without a meal if schools close.
  • Undocumented immigrants are less likely to call off work or check into a health care facility from lack of health insurance and ICE fears.
  • Health care workers risk getting sick if an outbreak brings in an influx of patients to the emergency room.
  • Public transit users could be in trouble if trains and buses shut down.

Flashback: After the SARS pandemic in 2005, a report from the SARS commission concluded there were no repercussions for cities that didn't follow federal quarantine orders.

  • Paid sick leave, which Americans aren't guaranteed, would have been a great incentive for hourly-wage workers to stay home, the author wrote.

The bottom line: "I understand this situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe, but these are things that people need to start thinking about now," said the CDC's Nancy Messonnier.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

A man helps a young boy walk after a boat with 54 Afghan refugees landed ashore the Greek island of Lesbos.

  • Turkey will no longer close its border gates to refugees who want to go to Europe, a senior official told AFP.
2. Catch up quick
  1. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted the Trump administration from enforcing the "Remain in Mexico" policy. Go deeper.
  2. A juror in the Harvey Weinstein trial told CBS "This Morning" that the cultural impact of the #MeToo movement was not a factor in the decision to convict the film mogul. Go deeper.
  3. Joe Biden backed off his claim that he was arrested during a 1970s trip to South Africa. Go deeper.
  4. The Federal Communications Commission proposed fines totaling more than $200 million on the nation's biggest wireless carriers for sharing customers' location information with outside parties. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing: "And a car appears"

GIF: Axios Instagram

Axios' Joann Muller rode in the backseat of a self-driving car in a Phoenix suburb.

  • "This ride will be different. With no one else in the car, Waymo will do all the driving. Enjoy the ride!" the Waymo app advised Joann.

The bottom line: Her first truly driverless ride, while thrilling, convinced her it will be years before autonomous mobility is widely available.

See how Joann's ride went on Instagram.

Mike Allen