May 6, 2021

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 455 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: America's driver shortage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber and Lyft are surfing a vaccine surge of riders, but drivers are in short supply, reports Axios Closer's Courtenay Brown.

The big picture: Many riders are reporting sticker shock, and both companies are prepared to offer incentives to get drivers driving again.

  • Fear of contracting the virus is a factor behind the shortage, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CNBC.
  • But with vaccinated drivers and passengers, some people are ready to get back into their pre-pandemic lifestyles, if any cars are available.

"We've told our investors we are going to lean into driver supply. We are going to put up our capital to bring more drivers into the system" to alleviate pricing pressure, Khosrowshahi said.

  • Uber announced a one-time stimulus payment cumulatively worth $250 million last month to help lure drivers back.

The bottom line: Lyft expects high pay and vaccinated drivers to fix the supply issue.

2. Stars fight Asian hate

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Asian American Foundation and a coalition of partners kicked off a new campaign to drive funding and support for the AAPI community, Axios' Shawna Chen reports.

  • It will launch nationwide and features high-profile Asian Americans, such as actor Daniel Dae Kim and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

The big picture: The See Us Unite campaign is backed by big names, including the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, and comes as Asian American leaders push to address a yearlong spike in deadly anti-Asian hate.

  • Funds raised from the campaign will go toward community organizing, education and solidarity-building initiatives.
3. Catch up quick
  1. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed sweeping new restrictions on voting into law at an event that banned all local media outlets except Fox News. Go deeper.
  2. New analysis: China's greenhouse gas emissions exceeded all OECD nations combined in 2019, and the final 2020 data is expected to show China's per-capita emissions exceeded the OECD average. Go deeper.
  3. Germany came out against waiving COVID vaccine patent protections. Germany is home to Pfizer's vaccine partner BioNTech. Go deeper.
  4. Nintendo's secret weapon: Taking games from its failed Wii U system and releasing them on the smash-hit Switch, reports Axios Gaming editor Stephen Totilo.
4. 1 chef thing: Zoom cooking classes here to stay

Jill Strauss of Jillyanna's Woodfired Cooking School in Kennebunkport, Maine, whips up an eggplant parmesan pan pizza during a Zoom class. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

After their livelihoods disappeared overnight, chefs, cooks and caterers took to Zoom to lead private group classes for holidays, anniversaries and birthdays, Iris Schneider writes for the L.A. Times.

For Airbnb Experiences, Luca Brozzi and Lorenzo Manfrini teach ravioli-making from their home in the hills outside Florence, Italy:

Using the recipes from their nonnas, the irreverent couple walk everyone in the class through the process of making fresh pasta. ... Every so often they ask students to show their work ... Once the raviolis are made, the chefs say, "Show us your babies" ... Each class ends with a little Italian stand-up routine that focuses on the history of Italian food. "Let me just tell you," Brozzi said, "in Italy there is no such thing as pineapple pizza. Every time someone makes a pineapple pizza, a chef in Italy dies."

Keep reading.