Apr 14, 2020

Axios PM

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

Situational awareness: Former President Barack Obama's Joe Biden endorsement video is here.

1 big thing: The constitutional distraction

The latest verbal sparring between President Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will give constitutional scholars something to do, but the real action is happening on the West Coast.

The big picture: California is out today with a roadmap for how it could eventually mitigate the lockdown's economic catastrophe without exacerbating the virus.

  • "As we contemplate reopening parts of our state, we must be guided by science and data, and we must understand that things will look different than before," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement today.

California's six criteria, announced today, for easing any lockdowns:

  1. "The ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed."
  2. "The ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19."
  3. "The ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges."
  4. "The ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand."
  5. "The ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing."
  6. "The ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary."

What's next: California has entered into a pact on the next steps with Oregon and Washington state.

  • An East Coast pact is centered around New York, taking in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
  • These 10 states combined for 38% of America's GDP in the last quarter of 2019. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, on the I-95 corridor:

  • Cuomo told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the president "basically declared himself King Trump" with his claim of "absolute authority" on lockdown timing.
  • "The only way this situation gets worse is if the president creates a constitutional crisis."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank for New York City

The Food Bank for New York City is providing food and other essential deliveries to area hospitals for health care workers who don't have time to grocery shop.

2. Catch up quick
  1. Trump administration: Trump's team will present him imminently with options to punish the World Health Organization over its coronavirus approach.
  2. Congress: Congress won't travel back to D.C. before May.
  3. 📉 Business latest: The U.S. has likely lost more jobs in the last four weeks than it gained in 11 years — IMF projects "worst recession since Great Depression."
  4. 🎧 Podcast: Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on "bill of rights" for essential workers.
3. 1 helpful thing

Michael Stramiello plays the guitar in a hospital room in Benton, Arkansas. Photo: Adam Blackerby via AP

Some health care worker teams are doing the small things that mean a lot for coronavirus victims and their families, AP reports.

  • That includes helping with FaceTime calls and playing music for patients.
  • Elizabeth Paulk, a doctor in Dallas, "decided to have her team make personal introductions, in simple paper printouts showing their names, color photos, and greetings in English and Spanish. Paulk’s photo shows her with her two kids."

The bottom line: “We are complete people and we see them as complete people,” she said.