Coronavirus, Super Tuesday, Tennessee Tornadoes: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the latest in the coronavirus outbreak, today’s Super Tuesday voting and deadly tornadoes in Tennessee.

Credit…Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The country reported its lowest number of new cases in more than a month today, although the epidemic showed signs of growing elsewhere. There are now more than 100 cases in the U.S., where six people have died, all of them in Washington State.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today a second confirmed case of the virus in New York, in Westchester County just outside New York City. Here are the latest updates and maps of where the virus has spread.

The Trump administration said on Monday that nearly a million tests could be administered by the end of the week, a major expansion that comes after federal officials had trouble producing a diagnostic kit. The delays might have raised the risks for Americans, some scientists say.

Explainer: Here are facts about how the virus is transmitted, and tips about how you can prepare. (As always, wash your hands.) For an informed guide to the outbreak, sign up for our coronavirus newsletter.

The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates today amid growing fears about the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Here are the latest financial updates.

Go deeper: The virtual shutdown of much of China’s economy is hurting business around the world, including multinational firms, truck drivers and tour guides. “All our planning has been turned upside down,” said Michael Smerling, the owner of a company in the U.S. whose Chinese suppliers have been shut down.

Related: Washington’s partisan divide makes a fiscal stimulus package seem like a long shot, but a deteriorating economy could be a great motivator, our senior economics correspondent writes.

Another angle: A growing number of American workers could be asked to alter their routines because of the outbreak, or to stay home. Here’s what could happen — and what rights employees have.

Millions of voters are expected to go to the polls today, when about a third of the delegates in the Democratic presidential race will be allocated. Here are the latest updates.

Fourteen states (as well as American Samoa and Democrats Abroad) are voting today. Polls begin closing at 7 p.m. Eastern, and the first call of the night will probably be Vermont, for its home-state candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders.

A major question is what effect the last-minute endorsements of Joe Biden by his former rivals will have. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who abandoned her campaign on Monday, and Pete Buttigieg threw their support behind the former vice president in an effort to unite moderate Democrats.

Mr. Sanders is well positioned in many states voting today, and he dismissed Monday’s endorsements as “establishment politicians” supporting one another. Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “Nominating a man who says we do not need any fundamental change in this country will not meet this moment.”

Go deeper: Interviews with more than 100 Democrats found a party establishment that has long been uncertain about Mr. Sanders — who has promised a revolution in government — but also about who would be the best alternative.

Another angle: Michael Bloomberg will be on ballots today, after skipping the first four contests.

“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about the stakes on Super Tuesday.

Stay up to date on Super Tuesday. Subscribe to “On Politics,” and we’ll send you a link to the live results.

South Korea is often associated with K-pop stars, Hyundai cars and Samsung smartphones. But the Oscar-winning film “Parasite” has highlighted the country’s urban poverty — and the humiliation and class strife it has spawned.

Two Times journalists visited some semi-underground apartments of Seoul, the capital, to find members of the so-called dirt-spoon class. Many live hand-to-mouth, a step from homelessness.

Tornadoes in Tennessee: At least nine people were killed today as powerful tornadoes ripped across the central part of the state, officials said.

Chris Matthews is out: The host of the long-running MSNBC talk show “Hardball” resigned after growing criticism over a spate of embarrassing on-air moments, including a comparison of Senator Bernie Sanders’s campaign to the Nazi invasion of France.

New test for Obamacare: The Supreme Court agreed to hear a third major challenge to the Affordable Care Act, after requests from Democrats who wanted to thrust the fate of the health law into the public eye as Americans prepare to vote this November.

Edge for Netanyahu: With 90 percent of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a narrow lead in Israel’s third election in less than a year, but he was falling short of an outright majority. Here are six takeaways from the voting.

Snapshot: Above, rock ants, which use a caucus-like method to choose a new home. On this Super Tuesday, we examined the democratic methods that animals have for finding agreement.

Late-night comedy: “So I guess we learned to pronounce ‘Buttigieg’ for nothing,” Jimmy Kimmel said.

What we’re reading: This illustrated story about quarantine cooking in China from The New Yorker. It’s a touching look at how people find a way to connect, even when they’re physically isolated from the world.

Cook: These crispy frico chicken breasts with mushrooms and thyme. Dawn Perry argues that boneless chicken breasts deserve a comeback.

Listen: Our music critic calls Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love,” the first single from her sixth LP, a return to her disco pop roots. It’s one of 10 new songs our critics like.

Read: In the children’s book “Here in the Real World,” an 11-year-old takes a stand for silence, and discovers his true calling.

Smarter Living: Follow these etiquette tips at a spa to make sure that those around you, including other guests and staff members, enjoy the experience.

The biggest day of the presidential primary has arrived. Tom Wright-Piersanti, a Briefings editor, spoke with Lisa Lerer, who writes our On Politics newsletter, about the state of the race.

So, today is Super Tuesday, when 14 states and one territory will cast their votes in the primary. That’s a big deal, right?

A very big deal. After tonight, we should have a much better sense of the shape of this race — if Bernie Sanders is on a march to the nomination, if Joe Biden can put up a strong challenge, or if it’s going to be broader than a two-person matchup.

The race so far has been pretty chaotic. Do you think there will be a clear front-runner after Tuesday?

Honestly, it depends on how the day shakes out. If Mr. Sanders is able to get a big lead in the delegates — say, 300 or 400 more than his nearest competitor — it will be hard for anyone to overtake him. But, if he falls short, the race could get even more heated and chaotic over the next month.

A few candidates have dropped out recently — including Pete Buttigieg, who won the first contest of this primary, in Iowa, just a month ago. How has that changed things going into Tuesday’s vote?

The short answer: We don’t really know. Early voting has been going on for weeks in some of these states, so any votes already cast for Pete Buttigieg won’t count. For those who haven’t voted yet, polling doesn’t give us much of an indication that their support might go overwhelmingly to one candidate.

Are there any states you’ll be watching in particular? California is the big one, and polls have put that firmly in Sanders territory.

I’ll be watching California for sure. If Elizabeth Warren is going to remain competitive, that’s where it could happen for her. Texas has a huge delegate haul, so that’s really important, too. Mr. Sanders has shown strength with Latino voters, so he could do well there.

Where will you be reporting from? Hopefully somewhere with good food?

Sadly, I’m going to be eating election-night pizza at The New York Times’s headquarters in Manhattan. But reporters are all over the country. It really is a huge effort to get reporting from so many contests at once.

On Politics is The Times’s daily politics newsletter, with reporting and analysis of the 2020 elections. Sign up here.

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

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about Super Tuesday.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Tailpipe emissions (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Times journalists go to great lengths to maintain impartiality, both inside and outside the newsroom. Here are some of the ways they do so on dates, among friends and in voting booths.

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