Apr 13, 2020

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 466 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨Situational awareness: Bernie Sanders officially endorsed Joe Biden for president today. Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren remain on the sidelines.

1 big thing: The committees to reopen America
Screenshot: CNN

The drumbeat to turn America's lights back on is approaching a crescendo, even as the virus is in the opening stanza.

The big picture: Preempting President Trump, two groups of states are working on regional plans to lift their lockdowns as conditions permit.

  • The eastern group: New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
  • The western group: California, Oregon and Washington.
  • Both groups say they'll use metrics to guide reopening, with more details expected over the coming days.

Why it matters: Trump claimed today that he is the decider on when states reopen. His tweets undermined GOP talking points and are constitutionally dubious.

  • But the underlying truth: States that are in the early stages of the outbreak are relying on his leadership to convince people to stay at home.
  • That includes major swaths of Trump country, and the president's bully pulpit could play a decisive role in ending lockdowns too soon to flatten the curve.

Between the lines: Lessons from New York, which has suffered America's worst outbreak, will form a template for rolling back restrictions in parts of the country with later projected peaks.

  • "The worst is over" in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said today.
  • That could change if New Yorkers don't keep up their social distancing, he emphasized.
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio noted recent declines in three key metrics: 1) positive tests; 2) patients admitted to the hospital; 3) patients admitted to the ICU.

The bottom line: More than 10,000 people have died from the coronavirus in New York alone. It's a very sad day when only 671 recorded deaths is good news.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/AP

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot wears a mask as she attends a news conference.

2. Catch up quick
Screenshot: Biden livestream
  1. Federal government latest: The White House called media speculation that President Trump may fire Anthony Fauci "ridiculous." — The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments via teleconference in May.
  2. Public health latest: Former Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel called on the federal government to create a Cabinet-level executive department to coordinate the nation’s response to future pandemics.
  3. 2020 latest: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Biden's 2020 presidential campaign has yet to reach out to her after Bernie dropped out.
  4. World latest: Oil experts warn the production cut agreement will not be enough to sustainably hold up prices or change the industry's bleak trajectory.
3. 1 helpful thing
Photo: Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm via Hulu

"Mrs. America," a miniseries that debuts Wednesday on Hulu's FX hub, dramatizes the Equal Rights Amendment fight, AP reports.

Among the cast:

  • Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly
  • Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm
  • Rose Byrne as Gloria Steinem
  • Niecy Nash as Florynce “Flo” Kennedy
  • Tracey Ullman as Betty Friedan
  • Margo Martindale as Bella Abzug

The bottom line: While the story is driven by Blanchett as Schlafly, "attention is paid to the women of color who fought for civil rights and to make 'second-wave' feminism of the 1960s and ’70s — successor to the suffrage movement — address the obstacles they alone faced."