Ricardo Arduengo / AP

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Wednesday that Puerto Rico is requesting bankruptcy protection in an effort to shield itself from falling deeper into financial turmoil. If approved, the move would be the largest-ever U.S. municipal debt restructuring, per the WSJ.

Why this matters: Puerto Rico — which has struggled through a 45% poverty rate and population decline — owes $73 billion to U.S. creditors. If Puerto Rico files for bankruptcy, it could cost creditors far more than they anticipated, likely leading to a lengthy legal fight with Wall Street.

Flashback: Detroit owed roughly $18 billion when it entered what was previously the largest municipal bankruptcy in 2013.

Why now? A legal stay protecting Puerto Rico from lawsuits expired Monday night. Hedge funds quickly filed lawsuits on Tuesday, naming Rosselló as a defendant. But because of the impending bankruptcy filing, the lawsuits will be frozen until a decision is reached.

Go deeper

8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
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  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

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