Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

TikTok: It's for teens. It's for memes. And sometimes, it's for getting help with a surprise medical bill.

The state of play: The New York Times spotlights Shaunna Burns, who posts videos on the popular social-media app offering life advice and encouragement — including one on hospital billing that garnered thousands of replies about "how baffling the American health care system can be."

There are more authoritative resources out there — Burns' admonition to "Don't take an ambulance unless you are legit dying!" is understandable, but maybe not a maxim to live by.

  • But the simple fact that people are venting on TikTok about their billing surprises shows just how omnipresent frustration with the health care system is.
  • "I thought, 'What if people out there don’t know that they have the right to tell those people to screw off?'" Burns told NYT.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Coronavirus surge is sinking consumer confidence

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies, CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rise in coronavirus cases in certain parts of the U.S. is stunting confidence across the country, a crop of new reports show.

Driving the news: After stalling during the previous two-week period, overall economic sentiment declined for the first time in two months, according to the Economic Sentiment Index, a biweekly survey from data firm CivicScience and Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS).

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage."
  2. Health: Mask mandates help control the rise in coronavirus hospitalizations. Hospitals face a crush.
  3. Business: Coronavirus testing is a windfall. Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.

The GOP's monstrous math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans, win or lose next week, face a big — and growing — math problem.

The state of play: They're relying almost exclusively on a shrinking demographic (white men), living in shrinking areas (small, rural towns), creating a reliance on people with shrinking incomes (white workers without college degrees) to survive.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!