Jul 12, 2018

Elon Musk vows to fund water fixes in Flint, Michigan

Elon Musk speaking in Chicago. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Elon Musk has promised to fund fixes to the water supplies of homes in Flint, Michigan "that has water contamination above FDA levels" amid the city's struggle to work its way out of an economic depression and find clean water sources for its citizens.

The backdrop: Flint's water supply was contaminated with lead in 2014, when officials changed the city's water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in a cost-saving measure. The water from the new source was not treated properly, and ate into lead-containing pipes, causing the contamination.

Threat level: Lead is highly toxic and can affect the heart, kidneys and nervous system. Children are especially at risk since lead exposure can impair cognition and cause disorders that can last a lifetime.

Though the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates the water contamination levels (as opposed to the FDA as Musk mentioned,) announced last month, the city "currently meets regulatory criteria for lead and copper" in its water, city residents and homeowners say it remains undrinkable and thus unsafe.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 846,156 — Total deaths: 41,494 — Total recoveries: 176,171.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 181,099 — Total deaths: 3,606 — Total recoveries: 6,038.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theadore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.

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DOJ watchdog finds flaws in FISA process beyond Carter Page application

Carter Page. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Justice Department inspector general found errors in 29 out of 29 randomized FBI applications for acquiring wiretap warrants through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, according to a report released Tuesday.

Why it matters: The broad DOJ audit of the FISA program stems from a damning investigation into the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, which uncovered "serious performance failures" by some FBI officials during the Russia probe. The IG's final findings come as Congress debates whether to renew the authority it grants to the FISA courts.