Mar 5, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 500 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: Markets tanked today, led by cruise ship stocks. Go deeper.

1 big thing: "This is not a drill"

Photo: A traveler wears a medical mask at Grand Central Station in NYC. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

China may have at least temporarily beaten back the coronavirus, but the World Health Organization is sounding the alarm for everyone else.

  • "This is not a drill. ... This is a time for pulling out all the stops," its top official said today. "Countries have been planning for scenarios like this for decades. Now is the time to act on those plans."
  • Right on cue, Congress reached a bipartisan $8 billion deal to provide emergency funding for outbreak response.

Why it matters: There are 17x as many new infections outside China as in it right now, the AP reports.

  • China appears to have slowed the virus thanks to a severe regimen of quarantines and testing.

In Europe and North America, a less severe strategy is unfolding:

  • Italy has closed schools and soccer stadiums. It also asked people to stay 3 feet apart and avoid nursing homes, but that is being widely ignored, the AP reports.
  • Schools have closed in a school district outside Seattle, and hundreds of New Yorkers are in self-quarantine. California, Florida and Washington state have each declared a state of emergency.

Between the lines: March is spring break season for American colleges. Many an administrator is probably dreading the prospect of infected students returning to campus.

  • Meanwhile, parents of American study abroad students are facing surprise costs and the logistical challenges of getting their kids home from affected countries.

The big picture: The economic pain of the coronavirus response seems to be just beginning, with targeted pain for the airline, hospitality, media and events industries.

Go deeper:

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Steven Senne/AP

Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a press conference after suspending her presidential campaign:

  • "Gender in this race, you know that is the trap question for every woman. If you say, 'Yeah, there was sexism in this race,' everyone says, 'Whiner!' And if you say, 'No, there was no sexism,' about a bazillion women think, 'What planet do you live on?'"
  • "I promise you this: I will have a lot more to say on that subject later on."
2. Catch up quick
  1. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer expressed regret for comments he made about Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Go deeper.
  2. Jared Kushner told senators in a closed-door briefing that the Trump administration will approve Israeli annexations within months if Palestinians don't negotiate. Go deeper.
  3. Russia and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib. Go deeper.
  4. The film industry is on pace to lose billions due to the coronavirus outbreak, especially in the U.S. and China. Go deeper.
3. 1 👶🏼 thing

Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The kids are better than alright: A new study "shows that toddlers will offer up food they really want to a needy stranger," the WSJ reports.

  • The study measured how babies would respond when adults dropped food on their tray — one group of adults acted dismayed, and the other was relaxed.
  • It found that babies were much more likely to give food to the dismayed group.

Why it matters: “We think babies are selfish, egocentric and a slave to their biological needs," said professor Andrew Meltzoff. "But this study shows they’re not selfish. They’re social!”

Mike Allen