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Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington told Axios' Mike Allen this morning that she believes the CVS-Aetna merger is a "very good thing" that will ultimately make Americans healthier by accelerating a behavior change. She cited CVS' previous initiatives to ban tobacco products from their stores and move healthier products to a more prominent place at the front as moves that might now reverberate through the health care system for millions of Americans.

Her biggest lifehack: "My favorite time is at the end of the day when you declare an arbitrary end to the end of your day because there's never a real end of the day…and turning off your phone and charging it outside of your bedroom."

More from Arianna Huffington's conversation during today's Axios Future Shapers event:

  • Huffington believes American should not be afraid of sleep, saying that human beings need seven to nine hours of sleep to fully recharge every day. She cited the Industrial Revolution as a time that made human beings compare their daily downtime to machines, but reinforced that, for humans, "downtime is not a bug, it's a feature."
  • She thinks that hearing from influencers on the importance of sleep "makes a difference in adoption" of healthier habits as Thrive Global has featured pieces from Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Mark Cuban, and even Selena Gomez on the importance of sleep.
  • Another interesting tip: Huffington recommended not sleeping in the clothes one exercises in as one's brain "gets confusing messages."

Go deeper

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that confronting Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the threat posed by China. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

In cyber espionage, U.S. is both hunted and hunter

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

American outrage over foreign cyber espionage, like Russia's SolarWinds hack, obscures the uncomfortable reality that the U.S. secretly does just the same thing to other countries.

Why it matters: Secrecy is often necessary in cyber spying to protect sources and methods, preserve strategic edges that may stem from purloined information, and prevent diplomatic incidents.