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Trump's coronavirus diagnosis presents America with new clear, present dangers

The coronavirus' threat to America is no longer confined by geography or demographics.

Why it matters: With the positive test for President Trump, the risks are real and immediate.


National security: Administration officials recognize that China and other powers know the U.S. is distracted, and could use this as a window for adventurism or even aggression.

  • Hotspots around the world are on fire, including China's escalation of territorial disputes in the South China Sea — as well as a border standoff between China and India the world's two most populous countries.

Economic: After summer signs of life, the economy is struggling again, with tens of thousands of layoffs this week by Disney and airlines.

  • Now, with markets racked by uncertainty, businesses won't be getting the signals they need to encourage reopening — let alone return to semi-normal.

Social: So many Americans had gotten lazy about virus protection, in part because huge swaths of the public felt untouched by it.

  • That's gone. The virus penetrated the most secure house in the world. Anyone who feels safe from the virus is foolish.
  • Any stigma that went with masks — always unfounded — should vanish.

Political: With 32 days to go before an election that both sides call the most vital in American history, the incumbent, age 74, is temporarily off the campaign trail.

  • The challenger — Joe Biden, 77 — has been super-cautious about his public appearances, and now has a host of new questions about his own plans.
  • Everything, including the three remaining debates, is now on uncharted terrain.

What's next: Those are all risks now.  If the president were to show symptoms, the disruption would multiply even further.

  • The next Trump-Biden debate is 13 days away — 14 days from the moment Trump said he'd quarantine.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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