Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The Kansas City Chiefs' comeback Super Bowl win against the San Francisco 49ers in February may have limited the spread of the coronavirus by preventing a championship parade in the Bay Area, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The hundreds of thousands of fans celebrating in the streets of San Francisco would have created a prime environment for a contagious virus to spread. The parades in Oakland for the Golden State Warriors' recent championships attracted crowds of between 500,000 to 1.5 million fans, according to WSJ.

The backdrop: Medical experts had only identified a few cases of the virus in the U.S. on Feb. 2 — the day of the Super Bowl — but Santa Clara County in California reported its second case that morning.

  • Neighboring San Benito County also confirmed person-to-person transmission of the virus between a man who’d recently traveled to Wuhan, China, and his wife later that day.

What they're saying: “It may go down in the annals as being a brutal sports loss, but one that may have saved lives," Bob Wachter, the chair of UCSF’s department of medicine, told WSJ.

The big picture: San Francisco is considered the model for containing the virus early in the U.S. and flattening the curve of patients admitted to emergency rooms.

  • The Bay Area has reported more than 5,300 cases and 146 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Go deeper

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.