Sep 16, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 516 words, a 2-minute read.

🚨The Fed's closely watched policy statement said it expects to keep interest rates near zero until the labor market improves.

  • It projects the economy will shrink by 3.7% this year — a rosier outlook than the 6.5% contraction initially projected in June.
  • Go deeper.
1 big thing: Next fall is the new spring

CDC director Robert Redfield speaks before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

Straight talk today from the CDC: Don't expect COVID-19 vaccines to be widely available until the middle of next year.

  • CDC director Robert Redfield warned Congress today that it could take six to nine months after approval to get enough people vaccinated to control the pandemic.

Why it matters: President Trump has promised a vaccine fast, but Redfield said the U.S. will struggle to distribute an eventual vaccine.

  • "The time is now to get those resources out to the state, and we currently don't have those resources," Redfield told Congress.

Between the lines: Redfield offered Americans a bridge to that eventual future.

  • "[F]ace masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have."
  • "[W]e have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense."
  • "I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity might be 70%, and if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will."
  • "I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility — particularly the 18- to 25-year-olds. ... Because we haven’t got the acceptance of personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.”
  • Video.

Joe Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, today the vaccine approval process should be “totally transparent" and evaluated by a “board of scientists” that could give the public an unbiased opinion, AP reports.

  • “I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t, either.”

What's next: Federal agencies plus the Defense Department released a "playbook" for states today for vaccine distribution — starting by late this year — to eventually get free vaccines to any American who wants one, AP reports.

  • Phase 1: Protecting health workers, other essential employees and people in vulnerable groups.
  • Phases 2 and 3: Expand vaccination to the entire population.
2. West Coast bird's-eye view
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Properties destroyed by the Almeda Fire in Talent, Oregon.

  • Infernos along the West Coast have burned more than 5 million acres this year, killed dozens of people and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.
3. Catch up quick
  1. The Big Ten is back: America's oldest Division 1 athletic conference will begin its football season during the weekend of Oct. 23–24. Go deeper.
  2. HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo is taking a 60-day leave of absence "to focus on his health and the well-being of his family" after baselessly accusing staff scientists of gathering a "resistance unit" for "sedition" against Trump. Go deeper.
  3. The N.Y. Times and Facebook have struck a multiyear partnership to co-develop augmented reality (AR) filters and effects on Instagram. Go deeper.
4. 1 fun thing

Curtis Enis, Ryan Leaf, Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson on draft day in 1998.

Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson are among the 14 first-year eligible candidates (of 130 total) for the five modern-era slots in the 2021 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, AP reports.

  • Joining those two: Receivers Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker and Roddy White; running back Steven Jackson; tight end Heath Miller; offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Logan Mankins; defensive linemen Jared Allen, Justin Tuck and Kevin Williams; linebacker Jerod Mayo; and defensive back Charles Tillman.
Mike Allen