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Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

Google brought a slew of D.C. policy experts to its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters this week for a summit, according to people familiar with the event, as the tech company seeks to deflect scrutiny from Washington.

Why it matters: Google is in the midst of reconfiguring its approach to a newly aggressive Washington, and it cut its lobbying budget last year. With this event, the company aims to make sure D.C. influencers from across the ideological spectrum understand its products better.

Details: Roughly 50 people from groups ranging from Public Knowledge to Americans for Prosperity are attending an event that Google, according to an invite obtained by Axios, is billing as the first in a "series of quarterly policy and product summits."

  • Google will "present an interactive program designed to dig into timely and relevant subject matter and to strengthen connections between our valued partners and our broader teams," according to the invite.
  • That includes briefings and discussions on products such as search, advertising and artificial intelligence, according to a person familiar with the event.
  • Speakers from Google's D.C. office include Karan Bhatia, vice president of global policy and government relations, and Mark Isakowitz, vice president of government affairs & public policy.

Between the lines: It's common for companies such as Google to host gatherings of policy experts. Outside voices can be critical in shaping Washington policymakers' views, so in an era of growing mistrust of Silicon Valley, companies like Google may find indirect influence more effective than direct lobbying.

What they're saying: "We've long engaged with organizations from across the political spectrum that focus on technology issues," a Google spokesperson said. "We're always glad to have the opportunity to host people at our headquarters to explain our products and the work we do to innovate."

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with the Denver Broncos' quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.