Sep 29, 2017

Private equity investor commits $10 million for Puerto Rico relief

Destroyed community in Toa Alta, Puerto Rico. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP

Private equity investor Orlando Bravo has pledged up to $10 million for Puerto Rico relief efforts, which is believed to be the largest such donation since Hurricane Maria hit the island more than a week ago. Tomorrow he also will participate in his second airlift of supplies to Puerto Rico's western coast, which is opposite San Juan and harder to reach.

Why it matters: Many people in Puerto Rico are desperate, particularly those in smaller towns far from the capital, and tomorrow's airlift will include 100 water purification systems and satellite phones.

Who? Bravo is the co-founder of Thoma Bravo, a tech-focused private equity firm with more than $17 billion in assets under management. He was born in the Puerto Rico city of Mayagüez, where his parents still live. He was unable to reach them for several days after the storm hit.

How: Bravo is committing up to $10 million, including an initial $2 million outlay, to a new foundation he formed called Podemos Puerto Rico, which will sponsor relief and recovery efforts both now and in the future.

Statement from Bravo:

Our Foundation's gift and efforts are focused on providing direct and targeted relief to communities in Puerto Rico that have been difficult to reach and lag in aid. Through efficient use of capital, our supply chain expertise and our knowledge of local communities in Puerto Rico where my family grew up, we believe we can make a big impact... There will hopefully be significant Federal Aid coming to the island. But centralized efforts, no matter how large and well-coordinated, still leave gaps... In the future, when central relief activities come to an end and the media goes home, there will be a further need for direct philanthropic efforts to help ensure the continuity of progress.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We usually think of Memorial Day as the start of the summer, with all of the fun and relaxation that goes with it — but this one is just going to remind us of all of the plans that have been ruined by the coronavirus.

Why it matters: If you thought it was stressful to be locked down during the spring, just wait until everyone realizes that all the traditional summer activities we've been looking forward to are largely off-limits this year.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,428,605 — Total deaths: 345,375 — Total recoveries — 2,179,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil Over 100 cases in Germany tied to single day of church services.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.