Feb 27, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

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

🚨All three major stock market indices closed in correction territory, down more than 10% from their recent record highs amid a global market rout.

1 big thing: Fear of pandemic

Photo: Abdulgani Basheer/AFP/Getty Images

In the blink of an eye, we've entered a new phase on the coronavirus.

The big picture: Italy, Iran and South Korea are at "decisive" points in their responses, the World Health Organization said today.

  • "We are actually in a very delicate situation in which the outbreak can go in any direction based on how we handle it," said WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Iran now has 245 cases and 26 deaths, has closed schools and canceled its Friday prayers. At least six Iranian government officials have fallen ill, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • Saudi Arabia is closing its borders to religious pilgrims, with the hajj coming this summer.
  • Italy has seen its number of cases double in three days.

Between the lines: The world's big democracies are suddenly facing internal transmissions, with less police state control to tamp the spread.

  • California has a shortage of testing kits and is monitoring 8,400 people for the virus, Gov. Gavin Newsom said today.
  • Obama's Ebola czar, Ron Klain, tore into the White House over a report in the N.Y. Times that all public statements and appearances by health officials must be coordinated with the office of Vice President Mike Pence.
  • The European Union's open borders policy seems to be holding, and 14 European countries are now reporting cases.
  • South Korea's and Japan's responses to the virus have been far less severe than China's. Japan wants its schools to close until April, and Korea delayed schools from starting for another week.

The bottom line: "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said today.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Plans for a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport were put on hold today because of climate change, the BBC reports.

  • Why it matters: Heathrow authorities want to build a third runway to increase the number of flights to and from the London airport.

"The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK's climate policy."

2. Catch up quick
  1. Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh got three years in prison for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. Go deeper.
  2. Silicon Valley-based gaming platform Roblox raised $150 million in new venture capital funding led at a $4 billion valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz.
  3. Mike Bloomberg released new information on his heart health and called on his rival Bernie Sanders to do so as well. Go deeper.
  4. Bonus: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enters Israel's third election in 10 months with momentum — and with his corruption trial looming just two weeks after the vote. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Dunkin' Brands

Dunkin' will be selling sleeves of bacon, the coffee chain announced today.

  • "The crispy bacon strips are smoked with cherrywood, flavored with sweet black pepper seasoning," Yahoo! reports.
  • "Each pack comes with eight savory-sweet half-slices of bacon, and they are available for a suggested retail price of $2.49."
  • "Servings contain a hearty 190 calories, with 12 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of sugar."
Mike Allen