Published On: Wed, Feb 26th, 2020

Coronavirus, Democrats, Harvey Weinstein: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the spread of the coronavirus, last night’s Democratic debate and the fate of the students in the college admissions fraud.

Is the virus making this reporting harder?

The place that’s most affected is under quarantine, and the police stop you on the road and tell you that you can’t go places. People are freaked out and don’t want to talk about it a little bit. But also, it’s important not to be foolhardy and go places that put you and your colleagues in danger.

How are public officials handling it?

There’s total confusion about the guidelines. There’s confusion between the government in Rome and the local government in Lombardy, the state in which Milan and most of the closed-down towns are.

What the head of the region said today was, basically: Do those places that don’t have cases really have no cases, or are they just not testing? Their view of it is that they have a ton of cases because they’ve done a ton of testing, and they’re being whacked for it. But on the other hand, they also have a lot of people who have it.

What are you watching for next?

We’re watching for whether people from Lombardy are being turned away from other countries now when they arrive — as well as people from Lombardy spreading when they go to other countries.

This is a wealthy region with people on the move. This is the economic engine of Italy; they’re not going to stay put, unless they’re told to.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris


Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at
[email protected]

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about Russia’s attempts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Longtime partner of Ernie (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Two photographers for The Times, Erin Schaff and Doug Mills, won multiple awards from the White House News Photographers Association.