Mike Bloomberg campaigning in Philadelphia on Dec. 21. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's campaign used prison labor to make campaign calls for the former mayor's 2020 presidential bid, according to an investigation by The Intercept.

Why it matters: Scrutiny on Bloomberg's self-financed campaign has increased since jumping in the race and spending more than $100 million. The latest polling has Bloomberg leading the lower-tier candidates, just behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

The big picture: The campaign contracted the company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma, to make campaign calls. Two of the company's call centers in Oklahoma are in state prisons.

  • Incarcerated people in one of the prisons made calls to voters in California on behalf of the campaign, a source, who asked for anonymity, told The Intercept.

What they're saying: The Bloomberg campaign confirmed the contract in a statement to The Intercept, saying “We didn’t know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had. We don’t believe in this practice and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.”

  • The campaign said it has asked vendors to vet subcontractors more closely in the future.

Of note: A ProCom co-founder said the company pays its inmates Oklahoma's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour through the the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

  • The state's department of corrections website lists the maximum monthly wage for incarcerated people at $20 dollars a month. Another policy document says the incarcerated may receive a maximum pay of $27.09 per month.

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,767,669 — Total deaths: 128,951 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
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Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.