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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

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.

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