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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

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
43 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

1 hour ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

2 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.