May 4, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 481 words, a 2-minute read.

🏀 Situational awareness: "The University of Louisville men's basketball program has been served with an NCAA notice of allegations in connection with the FBI's bombshell 2017 investigation into college basketball recruiting." [Courier Journal]

1 big thing: Grim new report

The white tents of the Samaritan's Purse field hospital, no longer needed for new patients as of today, remain in Central Park. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The worst could be yet to come, according to a leaked internal Trump administration report that predicts 3,000 coronavirus deaths a day by June 1.

Why it matters: That's nearly double the status quo. The report published by the N.Y. Times shows the possibility of 200,000 new cases a day by the end of May. In April, new daily cases hovered around 30,000.

  • The model was created by Johns Hopkins professor Justin Lessler, who said it was a range of possibilities, according to WashPost. "I had no role in the process by which that was presented and shown ... it was not in any way intended to be a forecast."
  • “There are reopening scenarios where it could get out of control very quickly."

Between the lines: Senior administration officials are very unhappy about this leak, which is extremely inconvenient for their messaging, Axios' Jonathan Swan tells me.

  • They want to turn the page away from a daily discussion of grim health data and death tolls to emphasize the safe "reopening" of the American economy. This leak drags them back to a place many in the White House want to leave behind.
  • In a statement, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said: “This is not a White House document nor has it been presented to the Coronavirus Task Force or gone through interagency vetting."

Flashback: At a Fox News town hall yesterday, President Trump said the coronavirus death toll could reach 100,000. Back in April, he said it could be as low as 50,000.

The big picture: A horrifying collision is on display between states rushing to reopen and a small but active minority actively disregarding social distancing.

  • "The situation has devolved most dramatically in parts of rural America that were largely spared in the early stages of the pandemic," the Times reports.
  • "As food processing facilities and prisons have emerged as some of the country’s largest case clusters, the counties that include Logansport, Ind., South Sioux City, Neb., and Marion, Ohio, have surpassed New York City in cases per capita."

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced today that the state will begin "Stage 2" of reopening on Friday.

Today's Pulitzer winners
Photo: Dar Yasin/AP

Above: A masked Kashmiri protester jumps on the bonnet of an armored vehicle of Indian police as he throws stones at it during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, May 31, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by AP photographers that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.

Below: A protester yells anti-government slogans in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on June 9, 2019. The image was part of a series of photographs by AP photographers that was named a Pulitzer finalist for Breaking News Photography.

Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery/AP
2. Catch up quick
  1. Congress: Why Congress is lagging on remote voting amid the pandemic — Senate secretary says it lacks authority to release Biden records on Tara Reade.
  2. Public health: FDA promises coronavirus vaccine will meet high safety standards.
  3. 🎧 Podcast: A coronavirus-infected hurricane season is the next catastrophe.
3. 1 summer read
Screenshot from "Good Morning America"

Stephenie Meyer’s long-awaited prequel to her “Twilight” series is coming out Aug. 4, narrated from vampire Edward Cullen’s perspective. (AP)

  • Meyer had abandoned “The Midnight Sun” more than a decade ago after part of it leaked online.
  • Her “Twilight” series has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and was adapted into a blockbuster film franchise that starred Robert Pattinson as Edward and Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, the teenager who falls in love with him.
Mike Allen