Today's word count is 1,355, or a 5-minute read.
Today's word count is 1,355, or a 5-minute read.
The U.S. plans to test around 600,000 people for the coronavirus every day this month, according to plans that states submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Yes, but: That's likely a drop in testing, compared to July, and it's not enough to meet national demand. By December, states said they plan to ramp up to around a collective 850,000 people tested a day — which likely will also not be enough, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and I report.
Why it matters: The Trump administration has said it's up to states to develop their own plans for diagnostic testing. Those plans, when put together, still don't present an effective mitigation strategy, at least in light of the size of today's outbreak.
Between the lines: How much testing a state needs to do depends on the size of its outbreak, relative to its population. Some of the states with the largest outbreaks have the least ambitious testing goals.
What they're saying: "We assess the state goals as being appropriate, but understand that states have frequently overachieved their initial goals based on the situations that arise (for example, an increase in cases)," said Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir in a statement.
Details: HHS reported states' plans for how many people they'll test each month, which we converted into daily totals. Many patients, particularly those who test positive, receive more than one test over the course of their illness.
My thought bubble: Continuing on without a national testing strategy almost certainly means more chaos ahead.
We've hit a tipping point in the pandemic: Half of Americans now know someone who's tested positive, according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
Why it matters: In practical terms, this data shows it's everybody's problem now, Axios' Margaret Talev writes.
Between the lines: As an uncertain new school year approaches, the survey finds that parents actually may be slightly less worried than everyone else about the notion of kids physically returning to class.
This week's data also supports an idea that Axios' Felix Salmon has been writing about: Americans' fears about catching the virus in an elevator could complicate efforts to return to work in high-rise office buildings.
Five states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Only one state — North Dakota — surpassed a record set the previous week, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.
At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by AP and Kaiser Health News.
The hope and promise of May is gone, replaced by the realization that America is in for another miserable year of COVID-19, Axios' Justin Green writes. (This is the darkest sentence that I have read in a long time.)
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday said the responsibility should be on schools to enforce a mandate on face coverings, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports.
The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the reinstatement of restrictions in Auckland after four new cases of the coronavirus were reported. The new cases — all family members living in an Auckland suburb — are the country's first in months.
Australian officials in Victoria announced on Tuesday morning local time another 331 new cases and that COVID-19 had killed 19 more people — equaling the state and national death toll record set the previous day. Australia was on track to suppress the virus in May, but cases have been spiking in Victoria in recent weeks.
Finland announced Monday that travelers from coronavirus "risk countries" must self-isolate for 14 days "or risk a fine or up to three months' imprisonment," The Guardian reports. Finland has listed 25 countries as safe from COVID-19, "including Ireland, Japan, Greece, Cyprus and Uruguay," the outlet notes.
The European Center of Disease Prevention and Control warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.
CureVac, a German Phase 1 biotech company developing mRNA-based cancer therapies and vaccines as well as a potential coronavirus vaccine, announced terms for its IPO.
Moderna said in new financial filings that it "cannot be certain that we were the first to make the inventions claimed in our patents or pending patent applications" — including the company's experimental coronavirus vaccine, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Why it matters: This disclosure comes six weeks after Axios and Public Citizen highlighted how the National Institutes of Health may hold joint ownership claims for this particular vaccine.
What they're saying: Moderna, which had not included this language in previous quarterly investor reports, added that "publications of discoveries in the scientific literature often lag behind the actual discoveries, and patent applications in the United States and other jurisdictions are typically not published until 18 months after."
The bottom line: The public increasingly appears to hold a significant ownership stake in Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, which is now in advanced clinical trials.
Separately, regarding Moderna's noncompliance with a federal contract about disclosing taxpayer costs as a percentage of the project, HHS has told Axios that it has "reminded the company of the terms and conditions of the contract, and we will continue to monitor the company's press releases and other public statements to ensure those terms and conditions are followed."
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Despite some recent good news about dwindling household debt, the financial health of U.S. consumers is rapidly deteriorating — and families with children are faring the worst, Axios' Jennifer Kingson reports.
Why it matters: As Congress deadlocks over pandemic relief and President Trump issues executive orders of dubious potency, many Americans are suffering from a quintuple whammy: unemployment, overdue rent, mounting bills, food insecurity and health fears.
Where it stands: By some measures, we're doing quite well.
But by more realistic and meaningful measures, people are in terrible shape.