Politics & Policy

Why it matters: While Democrats fight to convince voters that they should be the ones tasked with taking down President Trump, the current administration is powering ahead on efforts to restrict immigration, unleash business and reshape the U.S. role in the world.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 937,091 — Total deaths: 47,231 — Total recoveries: 193,764Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 ET: 216,515, — Total deaths: 5,119 — Total recoveries: 8,593Map.
  3. Business updates: Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World updates: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. 1 future thing: Shifts to telemedicine, at-home diagnostics, and drone delivery are all likely lasting consequences from this pandemic.
  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.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

WH Correspondents' Assoc. ousts OANN after reporter violates social distancing rules

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The White House Correspondents Association on Wednesday voted to remove One America News Network from the press briefing rotation after one of the outlet's reporters broke social-distancing guidelines amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: The WHCA imposed a seating policy for President Trump's press briefings to prevent reporters from crowding and abide by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's social-distancing recommendations. But OANN reporter Chanel Rion twice attended the briefings without an assigned seat.

FBI sees record number of gun background checks amid coronavirus

Guns on display at a store in Manassas, Va. Photo: Yasin Ozturk / Anadolu Agency via Getty

The FBI processed a record 3.7 million gun background checks in March — more than any month previously reported, according to the agency's latest data.

Driving the news: The spike's timing suggests it may be driven at least in part by the coronavirus.

The well of protective gear in the U.S. is running dry

Medical workers wear masks as they walk back to GW hospital in D.C. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. government's great coronavirus airlift came not a minute too soon.

What they're saying: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the WashPost reports this afternoon

Go deeperArrow7 hours ago - Health

House chair calls for commission to review U.S. response to coronavirus

Rep. Bennie Thompson. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) unveiled a bill on Wednesday that would establish a 9/11-style commission to review the United States' response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: The Trump administration has faced widespread criticism for its response to the coronavirus, which has infected at least 200,000 Americans and made the U.S. one of the epicenters of the global pandemic.

Pro-Trump super PAC targets Biden with $10 million ad campaign in swing states

Photos: Win McNamee/Getty Images; Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

A pro-Trump super PAC announced a $10 million ad campaign on Wednesday targeting former Vice President Joe Biden in swing states Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Why it matters: It's the America First Action PAC's first outlay of the 2020 cycle, and comes as the president has seen rising poll numbers — but heightened scrutiny — as he responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia is latest state to delay primary due to coronavirus

Photo: Barbara Davidson/Getty Images

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice rescheduled the state's May 12 primary election to June 9 on Wednesday, citing fears surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

Why it matters: 23 other states and the District of Columbia haven't held primaries yet. The White House is recommending, for now, that Americans practice social distancing and gather in groups of no more than 10 people — while many states have issued stay-at-home orders.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Census self-reporting on track despite coronavirus disruptions

Census materials. Photo Illustration: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Despite the disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, the Census Bureau says its self-reporting numbers for 2020 are on track.

Why it matters: The census determines how federal funding is allocated across state and local governments, including funding for emergency response and public health infrastructure.

Coronavirus brings inequality into sharper focus

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic is laying bare America's stark class inequality and, some experts say, should lead to more urgent policy conversations about housing, wages and worker rights.

Why it matters: The real measure of a city's resiliency is the ability of its residents to survive a crisis and bounce back.

Podcast: The Defense Production Act

The Trump administration has been hesitant to fully invoke the Defense Production Act to address medical supply shortages during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The New York Times reports that the Department of Defense has implemented the DPA regularly during Trump’s presidency. Dan goes deeper with the Times' Zolan Kanno-Youngs.

Go deeper... Defense Production Act: What you need to know

Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Bernie Sanders called for Wisconsin to delay its April 7 primaries to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to a press release from his campaign on Wednesday.

Why it matters: So far, 14 states and one territory have postponed their primaries because of the pandemic, but Wisconsin has held firm to its date.

Sen. Loeffler traded $1.4 million in stock during coronavirus pandemic

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, purchased and sold about $1.4 million in stock during the market panic set off by the coronavirus pandemic, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Though the couple still lost money, they were able to limit the financial blow from the stock market's worst month since October 2008.

Renewable energy industry eyes next coronavirus stimulus bill

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The renewable energy sector is pressing for the "phase 4" coronavirus response bill to provide the aid that was omitted from the recent $2 trillion rescue package — and they might have a wider opening this time around.

Why it matters: Wind and solar developers are warning of project cancelations and layoffs as activity is frozen, supply chains are disrupted, and companies risk missing deadlines to use tax credits.

RBG continues workouts at Supreme Court despite coronavirus

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for DVF

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's personal trainer Bryant Johnson told Law360 that she's continuing her famous twice-weekly workout in the Supreme Court's private facility despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The CDC notes that those who are over 65 and immunocompromised are at particular risk for severe complications from coronavirus. Ginsburg is 87 and has survived cancer four times.

Go deeperArrow16 hours ago - Health

Trump's new dark, dire coronavirus outlook

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Never has President Trump looked and sounded so somber and downbeat as he did at dinnertime yesterday as he walked America through the "very, very painful" days of death ahead. 

Why it matters ... It was a moment the history books won’t forget: Trump, who a week ago was talking about an Easter-time return to work, warned in grim detail of the potential for 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.

Medicaid will be a coronavirus lifeline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Medicaid will be a lifeline for droves of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Medicaid has long been the safety net that catches people during hard times, but a crisis of this magnitude will call upon the program — and strain states' budgets — like never before.

Go deeperArrow19 hours ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Rich sheltered, poor shafted amid virus

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey. Margin of error ±2.8 points for full sample. Margin for subgroups ranges from ±5 to ±9 points. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality. Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Driving the news: This sobering reality emerges from Week 3 of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Go deeperArrow19 hours ago - Health

McConnell: Impeachment distracted Trump admin from coronavirus response

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday that the impeachment trial slowed the Trump administration's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: The administration is largely playing catch-up in handling the virus, extending its initial "15 days to slow the spread" ambitions to 30 days after cases surged nationwide.

Federal judge orders ICE to release 10 at-risk immigrants from detention

Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release 10 detained immigrants who are at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus while in confinement.

Why it matters: Immigration advocates have been pushing for the release of at-risk individuals in ICE custody. Many detention centers offer little room for social distancing and therefore serve as potential hubs for COVID-19's spread.

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