Today's word count is 1,259, or a 5-minute read.
Today's word count is 1,259, or a 5-minute read.
Other countries — even some hit hard by the coronavirus — are beating back their outbreaks more successfully than the U.S., Axios' Dave Lawler and I report.
Why it matters: The number of new cases every day is holding steady in the U.S., but it's not going down — a key benchmark many other countries achieved before loosening their lockdowns and social distancing measures.
In some of Europe's hardest-hit countries, case counts seemed to skyrocket uncontrollably even amid some of the world's strictest lockdowns.
America's daily rate climbed faster and higher (due in part to its larger population), but appears to have peaked at around 30,000 new cases per day in the first week of April.
Between the lines: The U.S. didn't lock down as tightly as some of those countries, and made a host of mistakes early in the response.
The big picture: "It seems that this is a controllable pandemic without it having to run its natural course," says Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs.
Now that the federal government is allowing the emergency use of remdesivir for coronavirus patients, and as the world awaits final clinical data on the drug's effectiveness, a giant question looms: What will the price be?
Why it matters: Gilead's pricing decision is important on its own, but it also will set the bar for how all coronavirus treatments that come after remdesivir will be priced, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Where it stands: Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day has punted all questions related to remdesivir's price thus far.
The intrigue: We have some ballpark pricing thresholds to consider based on a new report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, an organization that analyzes drug prices.
The bottom line: Drug prices have taken a backseat to the pandemic, but remdesivir is about to make the issue very relevant again.
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr's (R-N.C.) brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, dumped up to $280,000 in shares on the same day as the senator, according to documents published by ProPublica on Wednesday.
Children in the U.S. are currently experiencing food insecurity that is "unprecedented in modern times," Lauren Bauer of the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project wrote on Wednesday.
Far from being the unifying force other catastrophes have been, the COVID-19 pandemic is tearing a divided America — and world — further apart, Axios' Bryan Walsh reports.
President Trump has complained to advisers about the way coronavirus deaths are being calculated, suggesting the real numbers are actually lower — and a number of his senior aides share this view, according to sources with direct knowledge, Axios' Jonathan Swan and Sam Baker report.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the White House's coronavirus task force will continue "indefinitely" but move to focus on "safety & opening up our country."
Irate business owners are finding out the hard way that their insurance policies don't cover coronavirus — and they're suing, Axios' Jennifer Kingson writes.
California saw a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases of 2,603 on Wednesday as Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reported that the state has conducted 100,000 tests over the course of three days.
A fifth of Wendy's 1,043 fast-food restaurants have run out of meat, an analysis by the financial firm Stephens found, per the New York Times.
Andela, a tech staffing platform focused on training and connecting African developers with U.S. companies, today confirmed to TechCrunch that it has laid off more than 11% of its staff, or 135 employees. Among its investors are Google Ventures and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
The U.S. is bullish on the possibility that the coronavirus outbreak started with a lab accident in China. But U.S. allies say that's unlikely, Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian reports.
A growing number of reports indicate Chinese officials pushed their counterparts in Europe to make positive statements about China in order to receive shipments of medical supplies to fight the novel coronavirus, Bethany writes.
The whistleblower complaint filed by former Health and Human Services official Rick Bright includes email chains that illuminate the administration's push to use chloroquine — an unproven drug that President Trump has repeatedly touted, Axios' Orion Rummler and I report.
In a March 17 email, HHS official Joe Hamel described chloroquine as "not a blockbuster drug for this fight, but a good drug."
The Food and Drug Administration has only signed off on emergency use of hydroxychloroquine in hospitals, but Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir said on April 5 it "needs to go to pharmacies as well," according to emails included in the complaint.
The other side: HHS declined to respond to any specifics in the complaint.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The dramatic need caused by the pandemic and the accompanying economic devastation is being partially met by innovative approaches to philanthropy, Bryan writes.
Why it matters: The COVID-19 pandemic could lead to human misery on a scale we haven't seen for decades. Smarter and more generous volunteering and giving could help prevent the worst outcome while demonstrating the unity that is desperately needed.
What's happening: According to the nonprofit Candid, nearly $10 billion in large charitable gifts around the world has so far been donated in response to the pandemic, with much of it originating in the U.S. That's far more than was given for catastrophes like Hurricane Sandy.
Be smart: There will always be a limit in what even the most generous private philanthropy can do — the size of Washington's initial stimulus package was more than 200 times bigger than those large charitable gifts.
The bottom line: We may be politically divided, but Americans can still be counted on to give their money and time to neighbors in need.