The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. America Faces 'Hardest, Saddest Week'

    Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Americans yesterday that "this is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment" as COVID-19 infections continued rising. In the U.K., the latest coronavirus hot spot, Queen Elizabeth II urged Britons to rally around the crisis, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive 10 days ago, was hospitalized for persistent symptoms. He's undergoing "precautionary" tests today and is still leading the government.

    Is a silver lining coming? The pace of fatalities has fallen in Spain, Italy and New York City — but officials cautioned that citizens must keep following lockdown rules or risk reversing that trend.

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    Afghanistan's Peace Deal Is in Deeper Trouble

    The Taliban said hopes for a recently signed peace deal with the U.S. are dimmer than ever, accusing Washington and its Afghan allies of "flagrant violations." That's allegedly included drone strikes against civilians, an accusation the Pentagon called "baseless." Claiming it's restricted its own attacks recently, the militant group said it would step up the violence if the "atmosphere of mistrust" continues.

    What's happening in Kabul? The country's leaders are still feuding, with President Ashraf Ghani installing a new Cabinet even as his rival, Abdullah Abdullah, still hasn't conceded defeat in last year's election.

    Read OZY's Special Briefing on what you've missed since COVID-19 broke out.

  3. Tensions Soar Over Wisconsin's Primaries

    Will they stay or will they vote? The fate of Tuesday's statewide elections remains unclear amid a growing chorus from local officials to call off in-person voting. Over the weekend, the GOP-controlled state legislature stopped an attempt by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to let lawmakers vote on holding an all-mail election. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Republicans filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court to block a one-week extension for absentee ballots to be returned.

    What's next? Some are wondering whether a scenario like Ohio's — where the governor shuttered polling places in defiance of a court ruling — could play out in the Badger State.

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    Global Markets Rally in Sign of Hope

    Stocks across Europe and Asia, in addition to U.S. futures, all ticked up Monday following glimmers of positivity that anti-coronavirus measures around the world are working. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, Japan’s Nikkei 225 and South Korea’s Kospi all closed around 4 percent up. In the U.S., S&P 500 futures were mirroring that performance early Monday, and in Europe the Stoxx 600 index gained more than 3 percent.

    Could the optimism last? Analysts aren't getting their hopes up, noting that "a sense of eagerness to see a turn" — rather than concrete progress — has fueled today's rally.

    Don't miss OZY's continuing coverage of the COVID-19 crisis.

  5. Also Important...

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to declare the country's first ever state of emergency. Former U.S. Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who was fired Friday, warned his colleagues against allowing official pressure to "silence your voices." And authorities in Ukraine say they've extinguished a fire in the exclusion zone around the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

    Coronavirus Update: Australia and Norway share nearly the same number of COVID-19 infections, around 5,800, despite Norway being more than four times smaller in population.

    Speak up! Which aspects of day-to-day life do you think will change the most after the pandemic finally ends? Let us know by replying to this email — and we’ll feature the most interesting answer right here later in the week.


  1. White House Clashes Over Malaria Meds

    This one’s a different kind of drug war. President Donald Trump's top economic adviser touted the antimalarial medication hydroxychloroquine in a coronavirus task force meeting Saturday as having "clear therapeutic efficacy." But infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci reportedly drew Peter Navarro's ire by rejecting that pitch, echoing researchers who've noted that much-publicized French and Chinese studies of the drug lacked control groups.

    What's the harm in trying? That's Trump's argument, while the FDA yesterday authorized emergency use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. But there are already shortages of the drug, and India has now banned its export.

  2. Apple

    Apple's Latest Release: Face Masks

    They've got you covered. CEO Tim Cook says the tech giant has sourced more than 20 million units throughout its supply chain and is preparing to ship them wherever they're most needed. "This is a truly global effort," he said. Apple has also developed a fully adjustable face shield for health workers, and has started shipping some to local hospitals in Northern California.

    What's next? By the end of this week, the company aims to deliver 1 million face shields — and another million every week, reaching far beyond the United States.

    Don't miss this OZY feature about hospitals scrambling for DIY masks.

  3. Who Will Save the World's Nonprofits?

    Crucial to helping millions of vulnerable people around the world, charities themselves are now desperately seeking help from an unlikely source: governments. The world's nonprofits — which pointedly also call themselves nongovernmental organizations — are facing plummeting donations and suspended fundraisers. So they're turning to bailouts to continue their crucial work, OZY reports, whether that's helping people in conflict zones or fighting health crises.

    Have they been successful? The American government has earmarked cash for charities, some with no strings attached, but they'll need to compete with for-profit firms to win it.

  4. Tiger

    Bronx Zoo Tiger Tests Positive for COVID-19

    A 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia was confirmed to have contracted coronavirus after she and six other big cats at the famous New York zoo came down with a dry cough. In the first known case of animal infection in the U.S., the fearsome feline was tested after interacting with a staffer who had an asymptomatic infection. Three other tigers and three African lions also displayed symptoms, but haven't been tested yet, though zookeepers say all are expected to recover.

    How many other animals have been infected? The World Health Organization says one dog tested positive in Hong Kong, but maintains animals can't transmit the virus to humans.

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    Gronk Is Now a Wrestling Star

    He hasn't seen enough rings. After bowing out of the NFL last year, the New England Patriots legend seems to be setting his sights on success in another contact sport. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, widely considered the best in the game, was crowned WWE 24/7 champion last night at WrestleMania 36. The win came after the famously affable 30-year-old, who also hosted the two-day event, pinned wrestling buddy Mojo Rawley.

    What's next for Gronk? Without longtime Patriots QB Tom Brady in New England, he seems less likely to return to football — and more likely to appear at August's WWE SummerSlam in Boston.