Jun 24, 2019

Mayor Pete's crisis moment

Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The anger and sadness that greeted Mayor Pete Buttigieg back home yesterday — during a town hall to address a white police officer shooting a 54-year-old black man, Eric Jack Logan — was a nightmare scenario.

Why it matters: "It’s one of those crisis moments that pops up in a campaign that you can’t really anticipate," said Democratic strategist Doug Thornell. "He’s running in many ways by touting his executive experience, so this will put it to a big test. ... But what matters now is what does he do over the next few days, over the next week?"

  • "'We don’t trust you!' yelled one audience member. 'Liar!' yelled another," WashPost noted.
  • “You gotta get back to South Carolina like you was yesterday?” another resident asked.

The big picture: South Bend's troubled record on race and policing started long before Buttigieg was elected, but he's been mayor for 7 years — and the police department is less diverse now than it was when he took over, according to CNN.

  • 40% of South Bend residents are African American or Hispanic, but the police department is nearly 90% white, according to IndyStar.
  • Buttigieg fired the city's first black police chief after being on the job for three months. That made some of South Bend’s minority residents question "whether an ambitious white mayor had sided with white police officers against a black chief," per the NYT.
  • Buttigieg has also been criticized for demolishing hundreds of vacant or abandoned homes in black and Latino neighborhoods while mayor.

The bottom line: Unlike his fellow 2020 Democrats in Congress, being mayor means Buttigieg can and will be held directly responsible for bad things that go down back home.

  • A Buttigieg adviser told Axios: “While the town hall was very raw and emotions ran high, it showed that Mayor Buttigieg is someone who is willing to confront problems head on."
  • "Mayors don't have the luxury of hiding from tough storylines or camping out in Washington, removed from everyday problems. It's incredibly rare to see elected officials from either party so publicly confront such a tense/tough situation so transparently.”

What to watch: St. Joseph County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cotter has requested a special prosecutor to investigate the death of Eric Logan, a decision that Buttigieg said he supports. The adviser told Axios that despite the turmoil at home, the mayor still plans to attend his debate in Miami on Thursday.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states. The CDC later announced domestic travel restrictions for the states.

Why it matters: Trump said hours earlier he was considering quarantine measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN such a measure would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health