July 02, 2020
Good afternoon and happy 4th-Eve.
- Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 423 words, a 2-minute read.
🚨 Situational awareness: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is mandating masks in public spaces. Go deeper.
1 big thing: Stimulus outlook takes hit
The pandemic is getting way worse, and now the big question is whether the economic recovery will join it.
Why it matters: America adding 7.5 million jobs over the last two months pales in comparison to 20+ million lost over the two months prior.
- Those new jobs were also overwhelmingly people beginning to return to places where they had been temporarily laid off, Axios' Felix Salmon writes.
- The number of permanent job losers went up, not down, rising 25% in just one month to 2.8 million from 2.2 million.
Between the lines: One nightmare scenario is that the economy recovers just quickly enough to kill political interest in economic stimulus, while not quickly enough to bring relief to the millions of Americans.
- The big jobs number could suck the wind out of a big stimulus package in the Senate, Axios' Hans Nichols emails.
- White House adviser Larry Kudlow hinted at that this morning, saying the beefed-up unemployment benefits may no longer be needed.
- Senate Majority Leader McConnell is still slow-walking, and even though Trump talked up big spending and direct payments in his Fox Business interview yesterday, watch Senate Republicans to see if there's any appetite for a big bill.
The bottom line: America will struggle to recover economically until it manages to beat back the public health threat.
- That's clearly not happening. The official overseeing the nation's coronavirus testing efforts told Congress today that the U.S. is "not flattening the curve right now."
Go deeper: "Axios Re:Cap" dug into the jobs picture with the Washington Post's Catherine Rampell. Listen here.
2. Pic du jour
President Trump swings a wooden baseball bat today as he attends a "Spirit of America Showcase" event in the Cross Hall of the White House.
2. Catch up quick
- A flu virus found in pigs in China has pandemic potential and should be "urgently" monitored, researchers are warning. Go deeper.
- The U.S. government urged a judge to deny bail to Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, calling her an "extreme flight risk" who has no reason not to attempt to flee the country. Go deeper.
- Nine more NBA players tested positive for the coronavirus after league-wide testing of 344 players from June 24 to 29. Go deeper.
- Florida again broke the single-day record for new coronavirus cases with 10,109. Go deeper.
- Herman Cain, 74, has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus less than two weeks after attending Trump's rally in Oklahoma. Go deeper.
3. 1 hot trend
Hot summer trend: Work from home is quickly becoming work outdoors, and that requires a few gear upgrades, Bloomberg notes.
Among Bloomberg's suggestions:
- Wi-Fi range extender
- Bluetooth speaker or headphones
- Power bank
- Lap desk
- Portable fan
- Tent (yes, a tent) for shade
The bottom line: Being outside can be good for the soul — but if you want to spend a lengthy amount of time outside, beware exposing your laptop to lots of direct sunlight.