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

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On Thursday, May 14, Axios Co-founder Mike Allen hosted a conversation on the future of workplace safety with RXR Realty CEO Scott Rechler and Caryn Seidman-Becker, the CEO of biometric identity company CLEAR.

Rechler discussed how to utilize digital and physical tools to give people a sense of security as they return to office buildings, emphasizing the need for screenings and contactless ways to get into their offices.

  • On what the journey from lobby to office will be in his buildings: "The concept is to make it a touchless experience ... Most elevators will have an automated dispatch show. It would only allow a certain number of people per elevator to get on the elevator, and would know which floor you're going to. There will also be a counter at the door to ensure that the people that are there are maintaining compliance with the capacity limitations that are being set."

Seidman-Becker highlighted how the security and screening needs following COVID-19 are similar to those following the 9/11 attacks. Focusing on the importance of minimizing risk and increasing customer confidence, she discussed biometric and thermal scanning, as well as the development of a new CLEAR app.

  • "I think what you are going to see, not only in travel, which was deeply impacted by 9/11 ... is the need for this multilayered approach using innovation and technology like biometrics."

In a View from the Top segment, Axios CEO & Co-founder Jim VandeHei was joined by CTO of Global Plasma Solutions Charlie Waddell to discuss how people are prioritizing the maintenance of indoor air quality in building design.

  • "In the past, buildings were designed for comfort, cooling and heating. And so they weren't designed necessarily for indoor air quality or to protect the occupants in the building ... It's now shifting to being more about air quality in the building and how it can address these pathogens in the space and help people feel safer being in the buildings."

Thank you Global Plasma Solutions for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated Aug 11, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on the future of autonomous vehicles

On Tuesday August 11, Axios Navigate author Joann Muller hosted a conversation on the future of autonomous vehicles and the latest innovations in mobility, featuring Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds, American University professional lecturer Selika Josiah Talbott and Mothers Against Drunk Driving National President Helen Witty.

From government regulation and safety to equitable access, the guests unpacked the impact of having autonomous vehicles on city streets.

  • Selika Josiah Talbott on making access to autonomous vehicles equitable: "It's up to the government to step in...we need to make sure that we invest in our communities, whether urban or rural, to make sure this isn't just a toy for the rich, but a way to create equity."
  • Helen Witty on the potential for eliminating drunk driving through driverless cars: We have technology now to save lives today...When we remove driver behavior from cars, that's going to eliminate drunk driving. We love the idea of autonomous vehicles as long as they're deployed safely. "
  • Seleta Reynolds on how automated buses can free up bus drivers to perform community functions like helping passengers with disabilities and de-escalating conflicts: "Those are the kinds of things that I think autonomy can be a pathway to, to actually getting at real problems and retain those really great middle-class jobs that exist for people who are helping folks get around town and navigate our cities."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with
Motional President & CEO Karl Iagnemma who discussed how COVID-19 has affected the automotive industry's approach to developing autonomous vehicles.

  • "Seventy percent of people told us that risk of infection had a significant influence on their transportation decisions...Prior to the pandemic, safety was only about avoiding crashes, and now we understand it's not just about avoiding crashes it's also about minimizing the risk of infection."

Thank you Motional for sponsoring this event.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.