On Friday, May 15, Axios Co-founder Mike Allen hosted a conversation on the hidden health crises that the pandemic is exposing and exacerbating, focusing on mental health and Medicaid with Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt, and Axios health care reporter Caitlin Owens.Rep. Lauren Underwood discussed the growing concern around people losing employment as well as their health insurance and the importance of nurses' voices in the policymaking process.

  • "We're hearing from health care workers who are still trying to source masks and gowns that they needed yesterday...We've been working really hard to make sure that everybody has, at the bare minimum, the protective equipment in order to make sure that they can do their job safely for their own health and for the health and well-being of their patients."
  • "[Nurses] do not have the luxury of opting out. Everything that we do as nurses is informed by our policy process...We know that nurses are on the frontline of this crisis and need to be able to inform our policymakers about the current status of our healthcare system"

Andy Slavitt highlighted the mental health impact this pandemic will have on medical professionals and his concerns over federal leadership's shortcomings on coronavirus response.

  • On attacks on Dr. Anthony Fauci: "I want our best players on the frontlines working on these issues. He's an integral player in efforts to get a vaccine. You don't want to take him off the frontlines...This suppressing of the inconvenient scientific voice — it's happened with climate scientists, it's happened with the EPA...It's not a great way for us to deal with this crisis."
  • On the long-term impacts of trauma on medical professionals: "Day in, day out trauma has really significant PTSD-like impacts...Start with the medical community, start with people who are going in [to hospitals] every day without help and protection that our front line workforce should have."

In a View from the Top segment, Axios Co-founder & CEO Jim VandeHei was joined by Highmark Health CEO David Holmberg to discuss innovation in supply chain management and protecting frontline health care workers.

  • On adapting to disruption in the supply chain: "We adopted a strategy of self-rescue and created new and innovative ways to create personal protection equipment and fill some of the gaps that others may not have been able to."
  • On preparing Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware for a surge in COVID-19 cases: "There are many parts of the country that were able to learn from the pain that New York felt, that happened in Italy and elsewhere around the world...We took 18000 clinicians and stood them down from their day-to day-work, so that we had the beds ready, we had the clinicians prepared and we were able to absorb whatever came our way."

Thank you Blue Cross Blue Shield Association for sponsoring this event.

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Updated Aug 5, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: Small business recovery during the pandemic

On Wednesday August 5, Axios co-founder Mike Allen and "Axios Today" host Niala Boodhoo hosted the last of a six-event series on how small businesses have pivoted during the coronavirus outbreak, featuring Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), owner of The Curvy Bride Michelle Files and Satori Yoga studio owner Andrea Stern.

Sen. Lankford discussed the federal government's response to the pandemic, financial support for small businesses, and the importance of NGOs as economic safety nets within communities.

  • On the effectiveness of PPP loans: "The Paycheck Protection Program has had some problems, but overwhelmingly it's been very, very successful. Paycheck Protection Program was designed to keep small businesses and not-for-profits running so their people didn't have to end up on unemployment assistance...and it has done that."
  • How the coronavirus has changed the economies of small towns: A lot of small towns in Oklahoma have had their highest tax revenue they've ever had in the history of their towns this year...They're used to those folks in small towns driving to big cities to shop. But they're not. They're staying at home. They're shopping online."

Michelle Files and Andrea Stern highlighted the unique challenges of running a small business during the pandemic and how their respective businesses have pivoted to digital tools in these changing times.

  • Michelle Files on adapting her brick-and-mortar business to a virtual world: "Mobile appointments...really took off. People loved that they were still able to shop from the comfort of their own home. I would just bring the dresses to them and safely be on a Zoom call from my car with any questions that they would have."
  • Andrea Stern on transitioning to live, online yoga classes: "We decided that livestream was the best way to go...one of the nice parts about livestream is that [instructors] actually have people in front of them. You can get feedback from the students. It was just a matter of getting everyone up to speed on the technology."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council Karen Kerrigan, who discussed trends in how small businesses have adjusted to the new economy.

  • "[Small businesses] are massively moving to technology platforms. 51% said that they've upped their use of social media in order to engage with customers and find new customers. So they really embrace technology at this very critical time, which is helping them to survive the COVID-19 economy."

Thank you Facebook for sponsoring this event.

The many divisions over Trump's methane rollback

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

EPA's decision to cut regulation of methane is laying bare an oil-and-gas industry divide and setting the stage for political battles this fall and beyond.

Why it matters: Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas and the industry is a key emissions source.

Kushner says Trump didn't promote false Kamala Harris birtherism theory

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told "CBS This Morning" on Friday that he does not believe President Trump promoted a baseless claim that Sen. Kamala Harris is ineligible to be vice president.

Driving the news: During a press briefing on Thursday, Trump did not question the veracity of a Newsweek op-ed that inaccurately claimed Harris may be ineligible for the office due to her parents' naturalization status at the time of her birth. Harris is an American citizen and was born in Oakland, Calif.