Jul 14, 2017

The least convincing Republican holdout

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

It's Marco Rubio. He went on a mini-tweetstorm on Wednesday night, saying he needed things like more hospital money for Florida and the ability to waive Medicaid spending limits if there's another outbreak like the Zika virus. Yesterday, he told reporters he got some of what he needed, but he claimed he was still undecided on the bill.

  • "On the Medicaid side, I see things about it that are better than the original," Rubio said, including a provision that allows more Medicaid spending in a public health emergency — which takes care of his Zika concerns.
  • But he said he's still "concerned" about Florida's treatment as a state that didn't expand Medicaid: "I just want to make sure Florida's not penalized for not buying into an unfair baseline in perpetuity because we were fiscally responsible."

Reality check: Rubio is not going to be the vote that kills Affordable Care Act repeal. But if you're a senator who wants maximum attention for your priorities, now's the time to get it.

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Q&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., Axios is answering readers' questions about the pandemic — how it spreads, who's at risk, and what you can do to stay safe.

What's new: This week, we answer five questions on smokers' vulnerability, food safety, visiting older parents, hair cut needs, and rural vs. urban impact.

The other coronavirus test we need

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Researchers are racing to develop tests that detect whether someone may have developed immunity to the coronavirus, which could help society return to normal faster.

Why it matters: These tests could help people know if they are able to go back to work, as well as aid researchers in tracking the scale and death rate of the disease — key data for current and future pandemic policies.

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What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

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