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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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On Wednesday, September 23 Axios' Felix Salmon hosted a conversation on capitalism in America, featuring Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Director of Harvard's Democratic Knowledge Project Danielle Allen and founder and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Ventures John Hope Bryant.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal discussed the details of the Paycheck Recovery Act, examples of other countries that have taken measures to stabilize their economies through the COVID-19 crisis, and the importance of accessible health care.

  • On the Paycheck Recovery Act: "It [could be] an automatic stabilizer to the economy...So it doesn't require congressional approval and therefore congressional bickering over what a package should or shouldn't be. It automatically kicks in."

Danielle Allen unpacked how the erosion of labor's bargaining power over the course of the 20th century has contributed to income inequality and how investing in the public good can lead to a more resilient public health system and economy.

  • On an effective public health system: "Public goods and substantial investment in public health infrastructure is a public good...Federal government needs to invest in and support data systems. States need to build out boots-on-the-ground organizational implementation, rebuild the sort of practices of their public health organizations in order to deliver those goods in practice as services."

John Hope Bryant discussed economic inequality in America, the importance of financial literacy and more accessible job training and internships.

  • On how economic inequality has impacted Black communities: "Where have we succeeded? The arts and entertainment and sports. Why? Because the playing field is level and the rules are published. Free enterprise and capitalism, the rules aren't published."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Omidyar Network CEO Mike Kubzansky, who discussed how the American economy can become reimagined to work for the public good.

  • "Markets are not laws of physics. They are actually built by political economy and interests and power and ideas, which means they can be also rebuilt in different ways and unbuilt in important ways as well."

Thank you Omidyar Network for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 16, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Supply chain of social good

On Wednesday, December 17 Axios' Felix Salmon hosted a conversation on how businesses are making a difference during the pandemic, featuring Cuyana CEO Karla Gallardo, Edgewell Personal Care CEO Rod Little and Fanatics founder Michael Rubin.

Michael Rubin unpacked how Fanatics pivoted from manufacturing sports apparel to face masks and the social responsibility of the private sector during the pandemic.

  • On the decision to produce masks: "I called the Commissioner of [the Major Baseball League] Rob Manfred and said we should shut down the production of Major League Baseball jerseys and instead make masks...From the second I had the idea to when we were making masks was six days."
  • How the private sector can support the public sector's efforts in the pandemic: "I have a strong belief that as a successful business leader in the private sector, you have a responsibility to make a difference...government alone cannot do what needs to be done."

Karla Gallardo discussed Cuyana's work with their supply chain partners to repurpose materials and to strategically stagger production to keep everyone in business.

  • On their pivoting strategy: "We repurposed materials towards products that we knew would be more in demand. We moved new styles to the later parts of the year or to 2021...We worked with our suppliers together to figure out situations in which both of us could make it through [the pandemic]."

Rod Little unpacked Edgewell Personal Care's focus on employees and highlighted the critical nature of their pandemic leave program, which guaranteed two weeks of paid leave and twelve weeks of 70% paid leave.

  • On the implementation of the paid leave policy: "The most important decision we made early was to institute a new pandemic leave policy...We ended up having 40% of our population in the early days of [the pandemic] either feeling unwell or needing a quarantine because they thought they'd been exposed or needed to sort out childcare. And we paid them for two weeks to go do that."

Axios VP of Client Partnerships Jon Otto hosted a View from the Top segment with General Motors' Global Manufacturing EVP Gerald Johnson who discussed how General Motors began producing ventilators at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • On acting swiftly at the beginning of the pandemic: "It led us to be able to produce our first ventilator 30 days after [deciding to manufacture them]...Ultimately, the majority of our production ended up filling the country's bank of ventilators to support the effort of the pandemic. "

Thank you General Motors for sponsoring this event.

The Biden climate doctrine emerges at summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Biden's climate summit is highlighting a White House approach that blends diplomacy, executive power, salesmanship and a few threats too.

  • Here are a few pillars of the emerging Biden doctrine.

Biden gets mixed grades on revolving door

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is getting mixed marks for his reliance on industry insiders to staff his administration during its first 100 days.

Why it matters: Progressives have leaned on the new president to limit the revolving door between industry and government. A new report from the Revolving Door Project praises him on that front but highlights key hires it deems ethically questionable.