May 28, 2019

What's at stake in the Oklahoma opioids trial

Oxycontin pills. Photo: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

After Oklahoma's Attorney General Mike Hunter announced an $85 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals over the weekend in the state's ongoing opioids case, only Johnson & Johnson is left defending itself in the suit.

Why it matters: Oklahoma is seeking $17 billion in damages over a crisis that has killed thousands of Americans, and if the state wins, it spells trouble of historic proportions for all of the various companies that are part of the consolidated national lawsuit in Ohio.

  • Purdue Pharma got out of the case by agreeing to a $270 million settlement in March.

Who we're watching: Judge Thad Balkman, who will rule on the case after hearing 8 weeks of arguments.

  • J&J denies wrongdoing and believe Oklahoma’s sole "public nuisance" claim is baseless.

Go deeper: Oklahoma argues J&J was the "kingpin" that fueled the country's opioid crisis

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Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses

Ivanka Trump speaks at yesterday's White House videoconference with bank and credit card executives. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Ivanka Trump personally lobbied top bank executives to line up the $1.5 billion in commitments to small business that were announced yesterday at a videoconference among the bank executives and President Trump — stoking competitive juices among the execs to drive up their commitments.

The state of play: Ivanka, who has had workforce development in her portfolio going back to 2017, plans an increasing emphasis on small businesses in the weeks ahead as they navigate the rescue bill’s Payroll Protection Program, sources tell me.

Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health