Nov 1, 2018

Dozens of companies speak out for transgender rights

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

More than 50 companies, many of them tech firms, have signed a letter opposing any effort by the Trump Administration to roll back transgender rights. The list includes Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft as well as non-tech firms including Nike, Dow Chemical, JP Morgan Chase, Levi Strauss, MGM Resorts and Sodexo.

Why it matters: A leaked memo, reported last month by the New York Times, suggests the administration may be looking to rigidly define sex as binary and determined at birth.

Such a move could have a broad impact on the lives of transgender Americans, as well as those who identify as outside traditional binary gender and those who are born with any of a number of intersex conditions.

The letter states:

"We oppose any administrative and legislative efforts to erase transgender protections through reinterpretation of existing laws and regulations. We also fundamentally oppose any policy or regulation that violates the privacy rights of those that identify as transgender, gender non-binary, or intersex."

What they're saying:

  • Cisco Chief People Officer Francine Katsoudas: "We must protect and advocate for the equality of transgender, intersex, and gender-expansive people inside and outside the workplace."
  • Levi Strauss Chief Human Resources Officer Elizabeth Wood: “Equality is not a right for some, but for all. Executive actions and laws that allow discrimination erode our ability to foster vibrant, competitive workforces, which halts growth, creativity, and innovation."
  • IBM Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Tia Silas: "We believe no one should be discriminated against for being who they are. That’s why we’re proud to stand in support of the transgender and entire LGBT+ communities, and it’s why we will continue advocating for Congress to pass the Equality Act and ensure transgender individuals are treated equally under the law.”

Our thought bubble: In the past, when states have passed laws limiting gay or transgender rights, some companies have declined to do business there. It's less clear what U.S. companies can do to fight such moves when they come at the federal level.

Go deeper: A timeline of Trump's plan to eliminate transgender rights (Broadly)

Go deeper

What the U.S. can learn from other countries in the coronavirus fight

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Note: Cases are shown on a logarithmic scale; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The countries that have most successfully fended off the novel coronavirus have mainly done it with a combination of new technology and old-school principles.

Why it matters: There's a lot the U.S. can learn from the way other countries have handled this global pandemic — although we may not be able to apply those lessons as quickly as we'd like.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 640,589 — Total deaths: 29,848 — Total recoveries: 137,270.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 112,468 — Total deaths: 1,841 — Total recoveries: 918.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump is considering a quarantine on New York, parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. He signed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to give businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month. New York moved its presidential primary to June 23, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day. In Spain, over 1,300 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Trump considers quarantine for states near epicenter of U.S. coronavirus outbreak

President Trump speaks to the press on March 28 in Washington, DC. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — areas congruent with the New York metro area, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

Reality check: These states have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing to combat COVID-19. The governors of New York and New Jersey issued statewide stay-at-home orders last week, and non-essential businesses in Connecticut were ordered to close as of this Monday.