Today's word count is 1,171, or a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Our contact tracing capabilities aren't where they need to be nationally, and some experts are questioning whether the old-timey public health tool will ever be successfully used to keep coronavirus outbreaks under control in the U.S.
Between the lines: One of the biggest vulnerabilities in the strategy is that, in the U.S. at least, it relies on public buy-in — something that is far from guaranteed.
The big picture: The idea behind contact tracing is that public health officials will track everyone that confirmed coronavirus patients came into contact with while infected. Those contacts, once notified of their exposure, would then isolate themselves.
Yes, but: American nature could be a problem. On one hand, most Americans have taken social distancing seriously. On the other, they’re already tiring of it, and concerns about civil liberties have been raised.
The other side: "I think it's reasonable to expect that while there may be some resistance to tracing and quarantine, the majority of people will accept it," Jeremy Konyndyk, a a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, tweeted in response.
The bottom line: "The quarantine, social distancing contact tracing model most likely would work better if human nature were perfect — if we could get everybody to do what we hoped they would do," Appel said. "I think the verdict is out on whether people will socially distance to do that in the United States."
Speaking of public buy-in, there doesn't seem to be much of it. In a best-case scenario, just half of Americans would participate in a voluntary coronavirus "contact tracing" program tracked with cell phones, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
The big picture: Even as the death toll rises and infections breach the White House firewall, week nine of our national survey also finds more people itching to return to work as they used to know it — and bending guidelines to see family and friends.
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 80,000 on Monday, as more states began taking steps to reopen parts of their economies.
More than a month after recommending Americans wear face masks in public, the White House is taking its own advice.
President Trump claimed at a press briefing Monday that any American who "wants" a coronavirus test can get one — contradicting his testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir, who just moments earlier said that tests are mostly reserved for people who "need" one because they present symptoms or are participating in contact tracing.
MLB owners approved a proposal to send to the league's players' union that would start this year's baseball season without fans around the Fourth of July, AP reports.
New York will ease some coronavirus-related restrictions and open "certain low risk businesses and recreational activities" statewide starting May 15, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The FDA granted Monday an emergency use authorization for a new coronavirus antibody test by Abbott Laboratories.
A poll of five countries — the U.S., U.K., Germany, Sweden and Japan — finds that concerns around getting sick or losing jobs are fading slightly, but realization is setting in that lives will be different even after the crisis abates, Axios' Dave Lawler reports.
Belarus is now grappling with one of Europe's highest per capita coronavirus infection rates, even as President Alexander Lukashenko plays down the danger.
The U.K. government released Monday a 60-page plan to reopen its economy by easing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions that it has maintained since March.
Sweden, which did not go into lockdown, has suffered 15 times as many deaths as has Norway, which did lock down.
The other side: The scientist behind Sweden's approach, Anders Tegnell, says Sweden also appears to have far more immunity in its population (25% vs. 1–2% in Norway, according to initial tests), and will therefore be well positioned for a potential second wave, Lawler writes.
Between the lines: Tegnell anticipates that immunity will last for at least three to six months, though there's insufficient data to know for sure.
The big picture: Sweden's death toll stands at 3,256, according to Johns Hopkins.
Worth noting: Despite its more lax approach, Sweden's economy has been hit hard, the FT notes.
The Trump administration is doubling down on its price transparency agenda, saying in a new proposal Monday that privately negotiated prices between hospitals and private health insurers may inform how Medicare pays for future health care services.
Yes, but: Hospitals are suing over the original price transparency regulation, so this proposal would get thrown in the trash if hospitals win in court, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Details: Last year, Medicare finalized a rule that required all hospitals to publicize the prices they negotiated with insurance companies by 2021.
The bottom line: This entire proposal is a long way from happening, and more importantly hinges on whether the courts believe the federal government even has the authority to require hospitals to publish all of their prices.