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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Photo: Leonard Ortiz/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Public and tech sector officials had mixed reactions on Tuesday to Amazon's confirmation that Crystal City in northern Virginia and New York's Long Island City are the planned sites for its second and third headquarters.

The big picture: While some officials see the move as a major investment, bringing jobs and huge financial possibilities, others view it as an unnecessary surge in already wealthy and overcrowded metropolitan areas that could make life more difficult for the citizens who already live there.

What they're saying

The good:

  • Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.): "I’m thrilled that our skilled workforce helped persuade Amazon to bring a major new headquarters and its tens of thousands of jobs to Virginia."
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.): "As a former Governor, now Senator, but also as a former technology executive, I'm really excited about the potential Amazon offers not only to Northern Virginia but the whole capital region and the entire Commonwealth. We've seen that major investments like these can bring not only thousands of direct jobs but also lead to job growth in other industries."
  • Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), which includes Arlington County: "Based on my conversations with Amazon and state officials, I am excited to welcome Amazon to Virginia’s 8th — already one of the nation's most iconic and most educated congressional districts. ... The infusion of jobs, the diversification of our tax base, the Commonwealth's dramatic expansion of computer science training in Virginia colleges and universities, starting with a new Virginia Tech graduate campus in Alexandria: these are some of the tangible gains of this victory. I am also eager to learn more and to work together as a state and region to confront the challenges this will inevitably bring to affordable housing and transportation."
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy: "Newark and New Jersey may not be getting HQ2, but our proximity to Queens means we're certainly going to benefit."
  • Steve Case, co-founder of AOL:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The bad:

  • Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "We’ve been getting calls and outreach from Queens residents all day about this. The community’s response? Outrage. Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here."
  • New York State Sen. Mike Gianaris and New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer: "As elected officials representing Long Island City and its surrounding neighborhoods, we have serious reservations. ... We were not elected to serve as Amazon drones. It is incumbent upon us to stand up on behalf of the people we represent and that is what we intend to do."
  • A coalition that represents local and national housing, labor, small business, faith and environmental groups said in a statement: "Amazon claims it will bring thousands of new jobs to the two locations, but has made no commitments to ensure a significant number of jobs will go to locals. This raises concerns that the new headquarters will only bring newcomers, displace long-term communities and worsen income inequality across these metro areas. Amazon’s last-minute announcement that it will split the second headquarters between two cities ... is the latest indicator that Amazon will will not be a trustworthy partner for communities in Queens and Arlington."

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that Jimmy Van Bramer is a New York City Council member, not a state representative.

Go deeper

Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The U.S. Omicron wave may be peaking, but now COVID deaths are climbing as cases continue to soar in most of the country.

The big picture: Omicron’s stranglehold in the U.S. started about a month ago. Its death toll — while almost certain to be smaller than previous waves of the pandemic — is only now starting to take hold, and deaths will likely continue to rise for several weeks.

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome" that's afflicted American and Canadian diplomats around the world, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.