Apr 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Whitmer: It's "outrageous" for McConnell to suggest states declare bankruptcy

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that it is not an option for her state to declare bankruptcy as a result of the coronavirus crisis, shooting down Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) suggestion that states could do so as "incredibly dangerous."

The big picture: As Democrats and Republicans prepare to begin negotiations over the phase 4 coronavirus relief bill, McConnell said last week that Congress should hit the "pause" button over providing funding to state governments. His office then referred to the idea as a "blue state bailout" in press releases.

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tore into McConnell for his comments on Thursday, calling the bankruptcy suggestion “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), meanwhile, said on ABC's "This Week" that he had received assurances from the president and vice president about states receiving funding and that there was already bipartisan legislation in the Senate.

What she's saying: "The fact of the matter is that for Sen. McConnell to suggest that is incredibly dangerous and I don't think that the vast majority of governors in this country, Republican and Democratic, would agree with him," Whitmer said.

  • "He's wrong, and we need Congress to step up and help states. It's because of this global pandemic that we are all having to make tough decisions. We need the federal government to have our backs," she added.

Go deeper: Hogan dismisses McConnell's "blue state bailout" claim as "complete nonsense"

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

Apr 27, 2020 - Health

The hospitals that have disclosed bailout funds so far

Mayo Clinic has received $220 million in CARES Act funding as of May 15. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

More than $8 billion in federal bailout funds have been disclosed by hospitals and health systems as of June 3, according to an Axios review of financial documents.

Why it matters: Hospitals do not have to repay these taxpayer funds, which are supposed to offset the lost revenue and higher costs associated with handling the coronavirus outbreak. HHS has released two datasets on the bailout money — one on the general allocation and another on the money that went to coronavirus hotspots — but the general allocation one is incomplete.

19 hours ago - Health

DeSantis says Florida bars and clubs can reopen this week

Outdoor restaurant in Fort Lauderdale on May 18. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that bars and clubs will be allowed to reopen on Friday, as the state continues to scale down restrictions it put in place because of the coronavirus, WCTV reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis ordered bars and clubs to close in mid-March as one of the first actions the state took to stem the spread of the coronavirus.