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Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Bloomberg's spending on House races in the midterms has passed the $80 million he promised for the cycle and is heading toward $100 million as he sees an increasing chance for Democrats to win control, Axios has learned.

The plan: Half of that will go to women candidates, a Bloomberg adviser told me. As this fall's blue wave strengthens, the adviser said: "We want to take a Category 3 storm and turn it into a Cat 5."

  • Plot note: The former New York mayor is eyeing a 2020 presidential run as a Democrat.

Bloomberg showed his power on the world stage yesterday with his second annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum (and a companion One Planet Summit), which drew an astonishing roster that included 70 heads of state, in town for the UN General Assembly, and 200 CEOs.

  • Spotted: Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Henry Kissinger, French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, private equity titans Stephen Schwarzman and Larry Fink, Jeb Bush, Cindy McCain, Steve Case, Steve Rattner, Andrew Ross Sorkin and more.

During a day's end interview with Axios, Bloomberg showed that in addition to his global passions that dominated the forum — trade and climate — he also has strong views and expertise on national issues for a possible White House bid:

  • On Trump's UN speech: "I would rather laugh with than laugh at.  I think our president, for reasons I don't understand, says things that just elicit that kind of response. It has nothing to do with his policies. I disagree with most of them and that's a separate issue."
  • "You've got to remember, he is a real estate guy, a promoter. ... And so he comes from a world where you exaggerate; there's a lot of hyperbole."
  • "You'd think by now somebody would have taught him, 'You don't say those things.'"

On his heavy midterm spending for women: "We should have a better balance — I've always been in favor of that in business and everything else."

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Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
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Crafting successful public health measures depends on the ability of top scientists to gather data and report their findings unrestricted to policymakers.

State of play: But concern has spiked among health experts and physicians over what they see as an assault on key science protections, particularly during a raging pandemic. And a move last week by President Trump, via an executive order, is triggering even more worries.

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Apple sets September quarter sales record despite later iPhone launch

Apple CEO Tim Cook, speaking at the Apple 12 launch event in October. Photo: Apple

Apple on Thursday reported quarterly sales and earnings that narrowly exceeded analysts estimates as the iPhone maker continued to see strong demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they's saying: The company said response to new products, including the iPhone 12 has been "tremendously positive" but did not give a specific forecast for the current quarter.