Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Hughes at Harvard, less than a year after launching Facebook from their dorm room in 2004. Photo: Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images

Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes called for the tech giant's breakup in a N.Y. Times op-ed on Thursday, saying that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "human. But it’s his very humanity that makes his unchecked power so problematic."

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva: Hughes isn’t the first Facebook co-founder to express guilt and concern over the company’s influence years after making riches from it — fortunes he barely acknowledges at the end of his op-ed. But his criticism is uniquely directed at Zuckerberg and his concentrated power.

Where he stands: "I liquidated my Facebook shares in 2012, and I don’t invest directly in any social media companies." Hughes was worth $430 million at the end of 2016, according to the latest data from Forbes.

What Hughes is saying:

  • "Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government. He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day."
  • "I’m disappointed in myself and the early Facebook team for not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders."
  • "We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American."

Go deeper: Facebook and Instagram ban "dangerous" extremist personalities

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Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 10,890,511 — Total deaths: 521,694 — Total recoveries — 5,772,017Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 2,739,879 — Total deaths: 128,740 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Regeneron stops trial after drug fails to help patientsWhat we know about the coronavirus immune response — Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Business: Top business leaders urge the White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines.
  5. Politics: Herman Cain hospitalized for COVID-19 after attending Trump Tulsa rally — Biden downplays jobs number, rebukes Trump for ignoring health crisis.
  6. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  7. States: Texas mandates face masks in public spaces Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.

Markets swell as the economy shrinks

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The economy is sputtering, but the markets are thriving — a highly unusual event that shows how the coronavirus has thrown all bets off.

Why it matters: The disconnect adds to the wealth gap. The richest 10% of households — who own 84% of stocks — are getting richer, while millions of out-of-work Americans cross their fingers that pandemic unemployment benefits will be extended.

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Fauci: Coronavirus surges mark a "very disturbing week" in the U.S.

Fauci testifies to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told medical journal JAMA on Thursday that it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

What's happening: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.