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Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a conference in Brussels on Jan. 20. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Google plans to cut its marketing budgets by as much as 50% for the second half of 2020, CNBC reports, citing internal emails from the company.

The big picture, via Axios' Ina Fried: Google is doing what most big tech companies are or will be doing soon — looking for budget cuts that can mitigate the coronavirus fallout, with marketing expenses likely to be on the chopping block.

Driving the news: The budget cuts follow a hiring slowdown that Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced to employees on Wednesday, CNET reports.

What they're saying: "As we outlined last week, we are re-evaluating the pace of our investment plans for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on a select number of important marketing efforts," a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement to CNBC on Thursday. "We continue to have a robust marketing budget, particularly in digital, in many business areas," a Google spokesperson told Axios in a statement.

  • “We'll be slowing down the pace of hiring, while maintaining momentum in a small number of strategic areas, and onboarding the many people who've been hired but haven't started yet."

Go deeper: Apple, Google limit how coronavirus contact-tracing tech can be used

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

CDC director says he was not involved in decision to change coronavirus data reporting

CDC director Robert Redfield testified Friday that he was not involved in the Trump administration's decision to bypass his agency and instead have hospitals send coronavirus data to the Health and Human Services Department.

Why it matters: According to the COVID Tracking Project, data on coronavirus hospitalizations has been "unstable since July 15" — five days after the change.

Jul 31, 2020 - Health

Fauci responds to Trump's testing tweet at House coronavirus hearing

Anthony Fauci on Friday told the House's select coronavirus committee that surging infections in the U.S. were caused by several factors, including states reopening without following social-distancing guidelines.

Why it matters: He was responding directly to a tweet from President Trump, who took to the platform during the hearing to repeat his claim that the U.S. has reported the most cases in the world due to increased testing.