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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's not just Washington that's burning in a seemingly perpetual cauldron of outrage. Global executives are still obsessing about how to get ahead of the next viral crisis, with mixed success. 

Why it matters: Some incidents, such as the furor after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this year, can force positive brand and societal change. Others are the corporate equivalent of WHCD hot takes: moments that would (and arguably should) have passed largely without comment are now occupying ever larger chunks of senior management's time. 

Just this week:

  • Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted was forced to distance himself from bizarre comments about slavery by brand collaborator Kanye West.
  • UK supermarket giant Sainsbury's boss was caught singing"We're in the Money" ahead of a planned mega-merger that could cost thousands of jobs.
  • Elon Musk wiped $2B off Tesla's market capitalization after cutting off analysts for the temerity of asking "boring, bonehead questions" such as how much cash the company is burning. (A lot)

Trump's early, scattershot twitter rants about specific industries and companies forced many to draft a better response plan in the event of a surprise presidential broadside. But many are proving much less adept at reining in public outrage — justified or not — once a crisis spirals.  

The big picture: Long-term corporate brand damage is still largely the result of deception (Volkswagen), greed (Facebook), incompetence (TSB) or bad product decisions (Snap).

Be smart: The strongest CEOs make sure a crisis doesn't define them, and remain ruthlessly focused on the basics. The weakest — and the most ill-advised — are still checking their Twitter feed on the way out the door. 

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The massive early vote

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Early voting in the 2020 election across the U.S. on Saturday had already reached 65.5% of 2016's total turnout, according to state data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant social-distancing measures prompted a massive uptick in both mail-in ballots and early voting nationwide, setting up an unprecedented and potentially tumultuous count in the hours and days after the polls close on Nov. 3.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat.
  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  5. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.