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

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Steven Dillingham on Jan. 14. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced his resignation on Monday, ending his term nearly a year before it ends.

Why it matters: Dillingham's resignation comes a week after multiple employee whistleblowers told the bureau's internal watchdog that they were under pressure to gather and publish rushed data on documented and undocumented immigrants.

  • Bureau employees said they were concerned that the data would be inaccurate, did not fully understand what they were being asked to analyze, and that "incomplete data could be misinterpreted, misused or otherwise tarnish the Bureau's reputation," the Commerce Department told Dillingham in a Jan. 12 memo.

Where it stands: In a Jan. 14 response letter to the agency, Dillingham said that those involved in the data collection were to "stand down" and stop data reviews.

What he's saying: "None of us could anticipate that as we fully launched the 2020 Census, a global health crisis would upend a schedule and plans which had been carefully constructed over a decade," he said in a farewell letter to his colleagues.

  • "Nor would we anticipate the impact this crisis would have on our numerous vital household surveys and economic products which guide decisions across the public, private, and not-for-profit sector."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December dismissed a challenge against Trump's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from influencing congressional apportionment determined by the 2020 Census.

  • As noted by the New York Times, the White House installed four high-ranking political appointees in the bureau while it pushed for a count of undocumented immigrants.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

42 mins ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  2. Politics: Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  3. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses.
  4. Business: Firms develop new ways to inoculate the public.
  5. Local: Ultra-rich Florida community got vaccinations in January.