Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP via Getty Images

United Airlines said Monday that it expects to report a pretax loss of about $2.1 billion in the first quarter, as it grapples to conserve cash and borrow money amid a sharp drop in travel demand from the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The Chicago-based airline says federal grants and loans, along with creative financing for planes on order, will help keep the company afloat through September — but with travel demand uncertain for the remainder of the year, it has warned employees to brace for layoffs.

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Updated 4 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering. Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Jul 28, 2020 - Health

Pfizer beats Wall Street's expectations amid pandemic

Pfizer tallied a 29% profit margin in Q2. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Drug sales at Pfizer dipped 11% in the second quarter, totaling $11.8 billion, but the pharmaceutical giant still reported more than $3.4 billion in net profits, or $0.78 in adjusted earnings per share — 15% above what Wall Street expected.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic only had a marginal effect on Pfizer, as the declining revenue was mostly due to lower sales from drugs that lost their patent protection. The focus is now on Pfizer's and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine candidate, which started its late-stage clinical trial this week.

DNC releases coronavirus protocols for August convention

Joe Biden on July 21 in New Castle, Delaware. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that attendees for its August convention in Milwaukee must agree to daily coronavirus testing and protective self-isolation measures.

The big picture: The DNC is planning a pared-down convention with a smaller venue and remote business for most state delegations, who are advised not to travel to Milwaukee. The Republican National Convention, meanwhile, was forced to cancel its main Jacksonville programming due to coronavirus and security risks.