Jan 23, 2019

House Oversight to investigate White House security clearances

Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The House Oversight Committee announced Wednesday that it plans to begin "an in-depth investigation" of the White House and Trump transition team's procedures for granting security clearances "in response to grave breaches of national security at the highest levels of the Trump Administration."

Details: In a letter to White House counsel Pat Cipollone, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) specifically cited the clearances of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who was granted a full clearance after a yearlong delay following concerns about his foreign contacts.

Go deeper: Democratic hit list: At least 85 Trump investigation targets

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Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.

International coronavirus treatment trial uses AI to speed results

Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs that will be included in the trial. Photo: John Philips/Getty Images

The first hospital network in the U.S. has joined an international clinical trial using artificial intelligence to help determine which treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus are most effective on an on-going basis.

Why it matters: In the midst of a pandemic, scientists face dueling needs: to find treatments quickly and to ensure they are safe and effective. By using this new type of adaptive platform, doctors hope to collect clinical data that will help more quickly determine what actually works.

Go deeperArrow47 mins ago - Health

We can't just flip the switch on the coronavirus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It feels like some big, terrible switch got flipped when the coronavirus upended our lives — so it’s natural to want to simply flip it back. But that is not how the return to normalcy will go.

The big picture: Even as the number of illnesses and deaths in the U.S. start to fall, and we start to think about leaving the house again, the way forward will likely be slow and uneven. This may feel like it all happened suddenly, but it won't end that way.