Auris Surgical Robotics has raised $280 million in new VC funding at what sources tell Axios was a pre-money valuation of around $1 billion. As its name suggests, the company's plan is to make robotics for use in human surgeries, with CEO Fred Moll saying today that the first targeted disease will be lung cancer:

"The reason lung cancer is so deadly is that the diagnostic and treatment processes are ineffective. The majority of lung cancer patients are diagnosed in late stage, when the cancer has already spread beyond its primary location. With our technology, physicians will be able to access early stage lung cancer without incisions, allowing accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment."

Investors: We're told that Cotaue Management led the round, and was joined by Viking Global, Partner Fund Management, Section 32 and return backers Lux Capital, Mithril Capital Management and Highland Capital Partners.

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Breaking down the Tesla obsession

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tesla is the company of the moment — the prime exemplar of just about any big and important trend that you might care about.

Why it matters: Almost every reader of finance and business news will have at least one strongly-held opinion about Tesla. What you might not realize is just how widely those opinions range, and the degree to which they map onto much broader views of the world.

Gallup: Party preference swings dramatically in favor of Democrats

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Americans' political party preferences have swung sharply from a 2-point Republican advantage in January to an 11-point Democratic advantage in July, according to Gallup's monthly averages of telephone polls in 2020.

The big picture: The dramatic shift is more a product of fewer people identifying as Republican or Republican-leaning (down 8% since January) than gains among those who identify as Democratic or Democratic-leaning (up 5%).

Nancy Pelosi: "I yearn for other Republican presidents"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on President Trump Thursday to exercise "the full power" of the Defense Production Act to meet coronavirus equipment needs and accused him of engaging in a "massive dereliction of duty" by ignoring science during the pandemic.

What she's saying: "I yearn for other Republican presidents," Pelosi said at a press conference. "While we may have disagreed on many points, but at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country."