On Thursday morning, Axios hosted its first virtual event, convening top editorial talent for an in-depth discussion on the coronavirus outbreak.

Axios Co-founder & CEO Jim VandeHei discussed the latest government approval numbers around coronavirus response with Mark Penn, Chairman at The Harris Poll, and the severity of the economic consequences with Axios Media Reporter, Sara Fischer.

  • Sara Fischer on at-risk workers: "Every sector of the economy is going to be touched by this...[What] we need to be thinking about as a country is how can we ensure that not only the wealthy and well-off are the people that are going to be able to get through this? I worry that some of the people in these sectors, people who can't work remotely...I wonder how this is going to impact them."
  • Sara Fischer on the media's duty to the public: "What the data is showing us is that most people are not taking this seriously enough...It's really up to [the media] to make sure that we're telling the story, that we're using data to inform it and that we're doing it to keep the public and keep our readers safe."

Axios Co-founder Mike Allen and Health Care Reporter Caitlin Owens covered efforts to expand testing, enforce quarantines, and the ongoing race to create a vaccine.

  • Caitlin Owens on the trajectory of the mood on Capitol Hill: "What you're seeing now is Congress working on its third package to address the virus. Congress doesn't work together very well these days, so I think that that is just reflective of the urgency of the situation."
  • Caitlin Owens on the current status of hospitals and testing: "The problem is that America's hospitals do not have the beds or the equipment to treat all those people that statistically will need care. And that's why you're seeing kind of triage units being set up outside of hospitals. We need more of that...We're kind of working with without information here, people aren't getting tested. So we don't quite know how bad the problem is going to be."

Thank you, Bank of America for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Director of Harvard Center for Ethics on the public good vs. privatization

Axios' Felix Salmon (left) and Director of Harvard University's Center for Ethics Danielle Allen. Photo: Axios

A defining component of America's future will be how individuals prioritize the public good against the urge to privatize, Director of Harvard University's Center for Ethics Danielle Allen said Wednesday during a virtual Axios event.

The big picture: “The value of public good — which are government-funded services for the benefit or well-being of the general public — has come into focus throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Access to health care, government data and federal economic relief have played major roles in sustaining America.

Sep 24, 2020 - Podcasts

The space race goes private

Private companies are becoming more and more invested in entering the space race. That means smaller missions — with more freedom in what they can study and explore — could completely change our understanding of the universe.

Updated Sep 22, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: How cities are preparing for an increasingly digital economy

On Tuesday, September 22 Axios' Erica Pandey hosted an event on how cities are building stronger, more efficient operations to support an increasingly digital economy, featuring Dunkin' Brands CFO Kate Jaspon and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

Kate Jaspon discussed trends in Dunkin' Brands' customer digital transactions and how they're promoting their brand across younger social media platforms like TikTok.

  • How coronavirus has accelerated the move towards a contactless food experience: "We're seeing a lot of guests shift away from cash and actually move to these contactless payments."
  • On the company’s successful partnership with TikTok star Charli D’Amelio: "We've seen a significant number of app downloads and perk memberships come from her demographic and her following, as well as an increase in our cold brew sales since we launched."

Jessica Rosenworcel unpacked the future of smart cities, how new technology can be better integrated into public spaces, and the need for the federal government to better collaborate with city mayors.

  • On cities being able to predict things like fires, safety hazards: "Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we knew those kinds of things well in advance, if we had a predictive ability that exceeds what we have today because we are looking at patterns at a scale that previously we haven’t been able to do? I think that those things are real and they are not so in the far-off future."
  • On partnerships between the federal and local governments: "We've got to figure out how to be partners with mayors and town councils...I think right now they see federal authorities as someone who wants to take their power away and prevent them from having a say and where communications infrastructure goes on their streets in their backyards."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Visa Chief Product Officer Jack Forestell who discussed changes in digital commerce and what this means for the economy.

  • On digital shopping experiences being the new norm for small businesses: "What we have seen with the pandemic is a sharp uptick in digital commerce...But what we're seeing now is that the new set of digital commerce behaviors is really sticking. The implication is that small businesses, Main Street businesses, really need to get digital."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.