Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democratic leadership announced Wednesday a plan, authored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), that calls for $30 billion in emergency funds to bolster national coronavirus testing and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The federal government has had no clear strategy in place to resolve or prevent the shortages of testing supplies that have threatened the U.S. response.

  • While testing capacity currently sits at about 100,000 per day, Murray said during a call with reporters that hundreds of millions more tests are needed.
  • "We need to have testing kits widely available across America," Senate Minority Leader Schumer said. He added that it is "utterly mind-boggling" that President Trump " would choose to focus his energy on a "vendetta" against the World Health Organization instead.

The big picture: Experts say the U.S. will need to run millions of tests each week if social-distancing measures are to be safely lifted.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this week that the U.S. does not yet have the testing and contact tracing capacity to reopen the economy.

What to watch: Schumer said that staff will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin today on interim coronavirus funding. "We see no reason why we can't come to an agreement," he said.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

1 hour ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

2 hours ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.