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

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthesia, a London-based developer of video synthesis technology, raised $3.1 million co-led by LDV Capital and Mark Cuban.

Why it matters: This is the company whose tech is behind a viral video in which soccer star David Beckham speaks nine different languages. As you might have guessed, David Beckham doesn't know how to speak nine different languages, and the video is for malaria awareness, not some sort of Rosetta Stone-like product. It's both mesmerizing and terrifying.

The bottom line: Synthesia's goal is to reduce the time and cost of video production, and tells TechCrunch that it is "actively working with governments and media organizations to create public awareness and develop security mechanisms to ... reduce potential negative effects from synthetic media technologies."

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
25 mins ago - Health

Why waiving vaccine patents might be a bad idea

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It will take more than waiving patent protections for coronavirus vaccines — which the Biden administration now says it supports — to fix the gaping global divide in access.

Why it matters: Waiving drug companies' intellectual property rights risks setting a bad precedent for future investment in new drugs. And that risk may not be worth it without additional steps to meaningfully increase the availability of shots across the world.

Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in seven months, thanks to the vaccines.

The big picture: The vaccines are turning the tide in America's battle with the coronavirus. Deaths and serious illnesses have dropped significantly, and now cases are falling too — an important piece of protection for the future, if we can keep it up.

3 hours ago - World

India sets new COVID world record as oxygen demand jumps seven-fold

COVID-19 patients being treated with free oxygen at a makeshift clinic in Indirapuram, Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Rebecca Conway/Getty Images

India has seen demand for oxygen jump "seven-fold" as the country set a new world record for daily COVID-19 cases on Thursday, per AP.

By the numbers: India's health ministry reported 412,262 new infections, taking the official tally past 21 million, and 3,980 deaths from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The official death toll now stands at 230,168. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher.

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