It’s Thursday, March 19. Tulsi Gabbard drops out. Congress rushes to finalize a $1 trillion rescue package to help families and shore up the U.S. economy.

In today’s newsletter: Where are the billionaires now? Plus: Catching up with a congresswoman during the pandemic.

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« TODAY IN POLITICS »

(DIA DIPASUPIL / SPENCER PLATT / ANADOLU AGENCY / VCG / GETTY / THE ATLANTIC)

Remember when Michael Bloomberg spent about $500 million running for president?

As the new coronavirus pandemic craters the American economy, you, like Russell Berman, may be wondering: “If ever there were a time for billionaires, isn’t this it?”

Russell writes:

Both Gates and Bloomberg have, through their eponymous foundations, announced commitments totalling several hundred million dollars to combat the pandemic in the U.S. and abroad. But, as of today, neither is directly funding the purchase of crucial supplies.

Read the full story.

—Shan Wang

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« EVENING READ »

(ERIN SCHAFF / THE NEW YORK TIMES​ / REDUX)

How a Congresswoman is Weathering the Coronavirus Outbreak

Representative Katie Porter of California has made a name for herself before. As a freshman member of Congress who flipped a red seat in Southern California, her tough questioning of administration officials and bankers has made her a rising liberal star.

Recently, Porter seized the moment during a House Oversight Committee hearing, pressing the CDC director to make COVID-19 testing free in the U.S.

Meanwhile, she’s a working mom dealing with California under tightening social-distancing measures, at home with her three kids. Our politics staff writer Elaine Godfrey caught up with her this week.

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« THE CORONAVIRUS READER »

(ALEX HALADA / GETTY)

+ This is how we can still beat the coronavirus, two professors write. Firstly, “we need to test many, many people, even those without symptoms.” We’ll also need to invest in medical infrastructure. Here are the other significant measures that all need to fall into place, and fall into place now.

+ How will independent-minded Americans react when the first checkpoints go up to blunt the spread of coronavirus?

+ Why a Mormon tradition of stockpiling food taught our politics writer McKay Coppins about pandemic preparedness.

+ What do today’s pandemic and the 1918 influenza crisis share in common? A fragmented government and divided country.

You can keep up with all of The Atlantic’s most essential coronavirus coverage here.


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Today’s newsletter was written by Saahil Desai, an editor on the Politics desk, and Christian Paz, a Politics fellow. It was edited by Shan Wang, who oversees newsletters.

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