Apr 16, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green from a snowy Lincoln, Nebraska, — is 487 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: 31 days of pain
Jobs created, BLS via FRED; Jobless claims: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The past month's twin tolls: More than 30,000 dead Americans and 22 million more losing their jobs.

Why it matters: The return to normal after the coronavirus lockdown is going to be slow and painful.

President Trump told governors this afternoon that he wants to begin to reopen the U.S. economy on May 1, Axios' Alayna Treene and Margaret Talev report.

  • He called on states with low coronavirus numbers to begin to reopen their economies on May 1, with the caveat that states should go at their own pace.
  • "You states with beautifully low numbers, let's get your states open and get back to work."
  • The White House distributed a document of guidelines for "Opening up America Again" that offers proposed phased reopenings in states or regions that meet certain "gating" criteria.

The big picture: Since President Trump announced the "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines on March 16:

  • More than 600,000 Americans tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • More than 30,000 died, including more than 10,000 in New York alone.
  • More than 22 million filed for unemployment. The total increase in employment since the Great Recession is now gone.
  • More than 1 million small businesses were approved for loans from the stimulus bill. Many more were still awaiting approval when it was exhausted. We don't know how many will shutter for lack of loans or funds arriving too late.
  • Those who can't work from home are either out of work or forced to put their health on the line.

Between the lines: There is a big gap between what's being said on television vs. public opinion, if the latest Pew Research poll is even close.

  • 66% are concerned state governments will lift restrictions too quickly.
  • 73% say the worst is yet to come from the outbreak.
  • 65% say President Trump was too slow in taking big steps.

What's next: Some states are already extending their lockdowns, including New York, which will hunker down through May 15.

  • Meanwhile, a group of Midwestern states are the latest to announce a joint regional plan to reopen businesses.

The bottom line: No return to normal will be possible without getting this virus under control, which requires a testing capacity we've yet to establish.

Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Hau Dinh/AP

Fashion designer Do Quyen Hoa shows off an embroidery face mask at her studio in Hanoi, Vietnam.

  • The collection of face masks adorned with Vietnamese hand embroideries was created as the world is fighting against the spread of the new coronavirus.
2. Catch up quick
  1. Business latest: New IRS website allows tracking of coronavirus stimulus payment — Supermarkets struggle to meet the demand for meat.
  2. World latest: Japan declares a nationwide state of emergency.
  3. Public health latest: A South Dakota meat processing plant is the biggest hotspot in the U.S.
3. 1 helpful thing: The singing surgeon
Screenshot: YouTube

Elvis Francois, the orthopedic surgery resident who has gone viral with his top-notch live performances at hospitals, is releasing his first-ever EP on Friday, AP reports.