On Friday, July 17 Axios Login author Ina Fried hosted a conversation on how the coronavirus is hastening the shift to telemedicine and remote education, featuring Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman and Center for Connected Health Policy Executive Director Mei Kwong.

Rep. Grace Meng highlighted the impact of the digital divide on families and discussed efforts at the federal level to establish a $2 billion grant that would allow people to borrow devices and hot spots.

  • On the challenges of digital equity in telehealth and remote education: "We're looking at larger issues of infrastructure. But what can we do now as soon as possible, without having to reinvent the wheel to get Americans access to the Internet so that they don't fall further behind and that they can stay healthy and get help if they need as soon as possible."

Mei Kwong discussed how coronavirus has brought telehealth to the forefront of national conversations on health and focused on the importance of having access to digitally enabled devices as well as broadband.

  • How telehealth depends on connectivity as well as hardware: "Telehealth will not work unless you are able to connect. That's not only through broadband but also having the right type of equipment at the other end...That right equipment is either a smartphone or a laptop and not everybody has access to that. And also, you have folks who may not have powerful enough connectivity for them to facilitate a telehealth interaction."

Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman focused on the educational gap that has been exacerbated by the digital divide and stressed the importance of prioritizing connectivity in making sure students don't fall behind.

  • "It's very clear that access to the internet needs to be treated as a fundamental right. And the basic need for multiple reasons, but certainly educationally."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, who discussed the significance of the shift to 5G, the future of remote work and education, and why it matters.

  • "The fundamental infrastructure of business will depend on 5G. And it's such a profound change. It's almost like when steam power went to electricity or we went to the computer for the first time."

Thank you Qualcomm for sponsoring this event.

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Updated Aug 6, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Ethical tech in crisis

On Thursday August 6, Axios Cities author Kim Hart hosted a conversation on how technology companies are responding to the pandemic, featuring former U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil and Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth.

DJ Patil unpacked how tech companies are building ethical and responsible tech centered on privacy and transparency during a time of crisis.

  • On the issue of misinformation during a pandemic: "It's no small statement to say [misinformation] is life or death. And so platforms have responsibility right now to figure out what is the right level of action at a bare minimum. It's creating stricter standards for how and what is allowed on their platforms."
  • On his concerns with the lasting consequences of quickly developing COVID-19 response technology: "It's easy to say this technology can be beneficial. But I have very serious reservations about it being deployed. What happens once it's deployed? Do we keep that in place after a pandemic? Those are the questions that we should be prepared to answer right now."

Kenneth Roth discussed different contact tracing models, highlighting the Bluetooth-based contact tracing system designed by Apple and Google.

  • On apps that use Bluetooth technology rather than location data for contract tracing: "Not relying on location data is a huge step forward in terms of privacy...[The app] did not identify infector, [it] simply told somebody that you were near somebody who was infected. They didn't put the data in a central database that the government might use for other reasons."
  • On the responsibility of Big Tech when it comes to moderating what contract tracing apps are allowing in their stores: "When you have problematic uses of technology of this sort, Google and Apple shouldn't participate. They should say we're not going to let you put apps like this on our stores if you're going to be using it this highly abusive way."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with
Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer at Salesforce Paula Goldman who discussed Salesforce's work on ethical tech development.

  • On having clear priorities in developing ethical technology: "Even though there's no definition of responsible tech for a pandemic, we need to think about things like privacy. We need to think about how vulnerable groups [are] being affected."

Thank you Salesforce for sponsoring this event.

Trump whisked out of press briefing after shooting outside White House

President Trump was escorted out of a coronavirus press briefing by a Secret Service agent on Monday after law enforcement reportedly shot an armed suspect outside of the White House.

The state of play: Trump returned to the podium approximately ten minutes later and informed reporters of the news. He said the suspect has been taken to the hospital, but was unable to provide more details and said Secret Service may give a briefing later.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 19,952,057 — Total deaths: 732,689 — Total recoveries — 12,150,698Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 5,074,059 — Total deaths: 163,275 — Total recoveries: 1,656,864 — Total tests: 61,792,571Map.
  3. Politics: House will not hold votes until Sept. 14 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. Business: Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out.
  5. Public health: A dual coronavirus and flu threat is set to deliver a winter from hellAt least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic.
  6. Sports: The cost of kids losing gym class — College football is on the brink.
  7. World: Europe's CDC recommends new restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases."