Tuesday's top stories
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a coronavirus briefing Tuesday that President Trump's target date of Easter to ease social distancing is "really very flexible."
Why it matters: Trump's suggestion earlier Tuesday that he would order parts of the economy to be restarted by April 12 has sparked concern among health experts, many of whom warn that it could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket and overwhelm the health system.
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said on Tuesday it was "very critical" that individuals who have recently traveled from the New York metro area self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Why it matters: "We don't want that to be another seeding point to the rest of the country," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at the coronavirus task force briefing on Tuesday.
Most Americans approve of President Trump's handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak, and his overall approval rating has risen from 44% to 49% during the crisis, according to a Gallup poll.
Background: Trump has received criticism in the media, as well as from officials in Washington, D.C., and around the country, for downplaying the threat of the virus and for not taking stronger action to make tests available and ramp up production of necessary medical supplies.
America's new goalpost: Build tens of thousands of ventilators and assemble and reuse billions of face masks in the next few weeks to ward off some of the worst-case scenarios from the coronavirus pandemic.
Why it matters: We need to give medical professionals, first responders and essential personnel (like grocery store staff) every possible tool to treat the ill and avoid getting sick.
Stocks closed up more than 9% on Tuesday, marking yet another day of huge moves in the stock market amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Driving the news: Congressional leaders signaled that they're close to striking a deal on a massive stimulus package that will soften the blow for businesses and consumers as the pandemic threatens an unprecedented halt in economic activity.
2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden harshly criticized President Trump's suggestion on Tuesday that social distancing restrictions should be lifted by Easter, saying on CNN that the president should "stop talking and start listening to the medical experts."
Why it matters: Trump has been warned by his close advisers that the economy can’t sustain a shutdown for much longer, and he's weighing lifting restrictions in certain zip codes after the expiration of the White House's "15 Days to Slow the Spread" initiative. Health experts warn that this could lead to a drastic increase in coronavirus cases.
President Trump said at a Fox News town hall Tuesday that he would "love" to have the country "opened up, and just raring to go" by Easter, or April 12, despite warnings from public health officials that easing social distancing restrictions too soon could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket.
Why it matters: Trump is becoming increasingly frustrated with the state of the economy, and he's begun to discuss options for reopening parts of the country that have been on lockdown to help stop the spread of the virus.
The perspective space provides is essential during these troubled times.
Why it matters: Astronauts live in isolation and look down on our planet with a view that can bring people out of their own experiences, especially during times of extreme and shocking change.
Twitter said Tuesday that it's donating $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women's Media Foundation ($500,000 each) to support newsrooms while covering the novel coronavirus.
Why it matters: Many newsrooms are struggling with how to balance covering the virus while ensuring the safety of their employees. Others are struggling to cover COVID-19 without the steady stream of ad revenue coming in during the pandemic.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government on Tuesday to supply ventilators, saying the state is in dire need of tens of thousands of machines to manage the coronavirus outbreak. The state expects to receive about 4,000 ventilators per Vice President Mike Pence.
Why it matters: New York state has become the U.S. epicenter of the pandemic, with 25,665 cases, and Cuomo said time is running out to wait on domestic production of medical supplies.
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday that the entire country will be locked down for three weeks beginning at midnight in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Why it matters: With 1.3 billion people, India is the second-most populated country in the world. India currently has 519 confirmed cases.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNBC's Jim Cramer Tuesday that there is "real optimism" that a coronavirus stimulus deal could come together "in the next few hours."
Driving the news: One "big change" in the negotiations that Pelosi highlighted was the fact that Senate Republicans and the Trump administration agreed to House Democrats' oversight language for the $500 billion fund designed to help impacted industries.
The renewable power sector would not get sought-after aid in the COVID-19 economic plans before lawmakers on Capitol Hill, a setback for the industry warning of steep job losses and scuttled projects.
Driving the news: House Democrats' $2.5 trillion proposal unveiled last night omits what industry groups and some lawmakers wanted: an extension of deadlines to use tax credits and the ability to quickly monetize them. The provisions are also absent from the Senate's GOP-drafted "phase three" proposal.
Ford Motor is bootstrapping ideas with GE Healthcare and 3M to help them dramatically increase their production of much-need medical supplies to fight the coronavirus.
Why it matters: Ford and other automakers specialize in cranking out cars in high volume, using global supply chains. That mass production expertise is critical as medical technology companies try to meet surging demand during the crisis.
The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that the Tokyo Summer Olympics were postponed until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Why it matters: The Olympics entail a massive amount of travel, congregating and physical contact — all things that are being discouraged in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Multiple athletes and teams had already called for the committee to postpone the Games, which were scheduled to begin July 24.
While President Trump has waffled on coronavirus and the Senate and House of Representatives have bickered over how best to deploy a fiscal response, the Federal Reserve has unleashed an onslaught of monetary policy power.
What happened: Having fired the full arsenal it deployed during the 2007–2009 global financial crisis in a matter of weeks, the Fed has committed to trillions in buying. And, it now promises unlimited purchases of U.S. government debt and mortgage-backed securities as well as municipal and corporate bond buys.
President Trump egged on by a growing number of advisers and business leaders, believes the economy will crater absent a strong signal, and wants to stagger the reopening of work nationwide, people who’ve spoken to him tell Axios.
Behind the scenes: Trump has been hearing from lots of people in the business community and conservative media telling him the economy can't survive this shutdown much longer. The sources say that "horrific," "truly scary" economic consequences were described to Trump.
Media outlets and e-learning companies are opening up access to free kids' content, tools and resources to parents who are struggling to entertain their kids at home while also working remotely.
Why it matters: As schools and offices both shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, parents are trying to figure out how to do two full-time jobs at once. Access to free content and educational programs can help reduce that burden.
Misinformation and mixed messages from leaders are compounding people's natural fear about the pandemic from the new coronavirus and diverting their attention from the steps scientists say are needed to quell the outbreak.
Why it matters: Even the best-case scenario is dire for Americans, and that's based on social distancing and other measures having the chance to take effect.
News consumption has skyrocketed in the U.S. over the past few weeks due to the coronavirus, according to TV ratings, web traffic, app downloads and social media interactions.
Why it matters: Without live sports and with Hollywood production put on pause, consumers are confined to the only type of new professional-grade content that's still being produced daily: news.
The response to the coronavirus outbreak is increasingly taxing Americans' mental and emotional health, according to the second installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.
By the numbers: Last week, just 29% of the people we surveyed said their emotional well-being had gotten worse lately. This week, that's up to 43% — compared with a much more modest increase in the number of people who said their physical health has deteriorated.
Nine in 10 Americans are now concerned about the coronavirus, according to the latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index — with half worried about their jobs and their ability to pay the bills.
Why it matters: The second installment of our weekly survey shows sudden, massive changes to how we work, shop, socialize and care for ourselves and our families. The numbers also reflect an overwhelming sentiment that things are getting worse.
President Trump is eager to ease off of stringent coronavirus mitigation steps “soon,” he said yesterday, but that would have a calamitous impact on Americans’ health — and it’s not clear how much it would help the economy, either.
Why it matters: For now, the only way to avoid large numbers of deaths is to keep people away from each other to stop the virus' spread. And as long as the coronavirus is spreading, it’s likely to hurt the economy.
Health officials and two state governors are pushing back after President Trump's suggested Monday that physical distancing restrictions introduced to clamp down on the spread of the novel coronavirus will be lifted "fairly soon."
The big picture: Trump told a briefing, "If it were up to the doctors, they may say let's keep it shut down — let's shut down the entire world." The president added that the U.S. "wasn't built to be shut down."
Traces of the novel coronavirus were found in the cabins on the Diamond Princess cruise ship up to 17 days after passengers left, a study published by the CDC Monday found.
Why it matters: Axios health care editor Sam Baker notes: "The virus lives a long time on hard surfaces, and that's another reason to be wary about quickly reopening businesses like bars, restaurants and gyms while the virus is still spreading quickly."
President Trump said Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has "really stepped up," offering rare praise during a press conference on Monday.
Why it matters: It marks a big shift in Trump's tone on Powell — who he's bashed for months — after a series of measures announced by the Fed in recent days to ease the economic fallout from the coronavirus.
Italy recorded 602 deaths on Monday from the coronavirus — a staggering total that could nonetheless be some cause for hope because it's the second day of decline from Saturday's high of 793.
The big picture: Monday marks two weeks since Italy entered a nationwide lockdown, with officials warning at the time that we wouldn't get a sense of how effective the measures had been until right about now.