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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Easton Hospital, owned by a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management, secured $8 million from the State of Pennsylvania in a last-minute bailout to keep the facility's doors open. Through June, the state funding commitment would total $24 million.

Why it matters: It's very welcome news that a hospital won't close in the midst of a pandemic, but it also reflects pretty indefensible behavior by Cerberus.

To be sure, Easton Hospital is unprofitable and had been negotiating for months to be acquired by a larger local rival. Under normal circumstances, it would make sense for Cerberus and portfolio company Steward Health Care to wind things down.

  • But this is a national emergency, and Cerberus, its billionaire CEO, and very wealthy partners could have stepped in to help save lives. Plus, Cerberus and Steward both knew that federal aid to hospitals was on the way.

The bottom line: "It’s hard to believe that Easton Hospital could have sat vacant in the coming months — shedding 700 jobs in the process — as the rest of the Lehigh Valley scurried to free up every room, ventilator and medical staffer to try to save lives." — The Express-Times editorial board

Go deeper: Small hospitals worry about getting bailout money quickly

Update: After this story was published, Cerberus sent Axios the following statement:

“Cerberus is working around the clock to support companies around the world as they protect their employees and serve their customers and communities during this pandemic. Steward Health Care is no different. We support the company’s decision to continue working constructively with the State of Pennsylvania, as it has been doing for months, in order to continue serving the Easton community. We recognize and are deeply appreciative of the critical work Steward Health Care and its 42,000 team members are doing on the front lines, serving over 800 communities across more than 35 hospitals.”

Go deeper

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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