Situational awareness: A second American coronavirus death has been confirmed, again in Washington state.
Today's word count is 816, or a 3-minute read.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A top federal scientist sounded the alarm about what he feared was contamination in an Atlanta lab where the government made test kits for the novel coronavirus, sources familiar with the situation in Atlanta told my colleague Jonathan Swan and me.
Driving the news: The Trump administration has ordered an independent investigation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab, and manufacturing of the virus test kits has been moved, the sources said.
Why it matters: Because the administration is under scrutiny for its early preparations for the virus, the potential problems at the lab became a top internal priority for some officials. But the Trump administration did not talk publicly about the Food and Drug Administration's specific concerns about the Atlanta lab.
FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement to Axios that government agencies have already worked together to resolve the problems with the coronavirus tests.
The big picture: The FDA says it now has full confidence in the coronavirus diagnostic kit, but a slew of new cases announced over the weekend suggest the virus has spread throughout the country while the U.S. government tested only a narrow subset of the population for it.
The threat of the coronavirus is already exposing the holes in the U.S. health care system, particularly for low-income people and those without health insurance.
Why it matters: If affordability concerns keep people from receiving the care they need, or from staying home in order to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, we've got an even bigger problem.
Driving the news: The coronavirus could be particularly burdensome among gig economy workers, both because they often don't have health insurance through their work and because the nature of their jobs increases their risk of exposure, the Washington Post reports. They also often can't afford to stay home.
The coronavirus is already colliding with the issue of surprise medical bills.
The bottom line: The coronavirus is likely to test not only our public health preparedness, but the degree to which affordability concerns are a threat to our response.
Some of the largest drugmakers — including AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer — have said that the coronavirus outbreak could affect their supplies or sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Between the lines: Drug shortages can end up being incredibly serious for patients, but they're not good for business either.
Details: The drug companies are trying to get ahead of the problem by looking for alternative sources of drug ingredients and supplies.
Even many supporters of Medicare for All don't necessarily know how it would work, the Kaiser Family Foundation's Drew Altman writes in today's column.
The big picture: That doesn't necessarily mean more information will turn supporters into opponents, but it shows that we're still at an early stage in this debate, in which opinions about Medicare for All are often reflections of broader political alliances, not the details of a plan.
By the numbers: In KFF's January tracking poll. more than half (59%) of Medicare for All supporters didn't think Medicare for All would require people to give up their employer-based insurance; 34% knew it would.
The big picture: People's opinions are still malleable.
Drew's thought bubble: The public's flexible opinions and lack of knowledge are a reminder that a lot of this is about signaling priorities, rather than adherence to a specific plan.