Aug 11, 2017

With D.C. AWOL, mayors improvise

Edward Holub

Hap-py Friday from the Big Easy. As part of our effort to get you beyond the bubble thinking and make you aware of the most important trends and innovations, Axios is partnering with the U.S. Conference of Mayors for the next year. I'll be traveling the country, and sharing what I'm learning.

At a time when people hate politicians, many top mayors are popular. At dinner last night at the U.S. Conference of Mayors summer leadership conference in New Orleans, I realized a big reason why:

  • Faced with persistent problems, they have no choice but to attack a lot of things a dysfunctional federal government can't or won't.
  • This includes global warming, homeland security and the exploding opioid crisis — three things better attacked broadly at the federal level.
  • Some of the nation's leading mayors told me that they're giving up on Washington for many of their needs. This has forced new creativity, often turning to philanthropies and big corporations, to help fund their plans.

Some insights from New Orleans:

  • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, president of the U.S. Conference: "Mayors ... can actually create national policy, and you do not have to wait on the federal government. ... If one of your friends doesn't show up, you just gotta keep going. And I think that's what mayors and governors are doing."
  • Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin, the group's vice president: Getting things done "requires we drag our federal officials" along. He said that while frustrated with D.C., he can't give up because so many constituents depend on federal help.
  • Benjamin also said local officials need more of "a seat at the table" in Trump's opioid response.

Go deeper ... Axios' Shannon Vavra is also on-scene with the mayors, and posted on ...

  • My conversation with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.
  • Plus a debate on "The Future of Cities" with Marc Morial of the National Urban League; Jim Anderson of Bloomberg Philanthropies; and Peter Scher, chair of the Washington region and Head of Corporate Responsibility for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Go deeper

Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are doubling down on their worst habits to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on health of the American people, in part due to the habits they will pick up during the weeks and months they are forced to stay home.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 1,203,923 — Total deaths: 64,795 — Total recoveries: 247,273Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 312,237 — Total deaths: 8,502 — Total recoveries: 14,997Map.
  3. Public health latest: CDC launches national trackers and recommends face coverings in public. Federal government will cover costs of COVID-19 treatment for uninsured. The virus is hitting poor, minority communities harder and upending childbirth.
  4. 2020 latest: "We have no contingency plan," Trump said on the 2020 Republican National Convention. "We're having the convention at the end of August."
  5. Business updates: Restaurants step up for health care workers. Employees are pressuring companies to provide protections during coronavirus.
  6. Oil latest: Monday meeting among oil-producing countries to discuss supply curbs is reportedly being delayed amid tensions between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
  7. Education update: Many college-age students won't get coronavirus relief checks.
  8. 1 🏀 thing: The WNBA postpones start of training camps and season.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1.2 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The number of novel coronavirus cases surpassed 1.2 million worldwide Saturday night, as Spain overtook Italy as the country with the most infections outside the U.S.

The big picture: About half the planet's population is now on lockdown and the global death toll was nearing 64,800, by Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health