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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Intel

Intel announced Tuesday a $50 million coronavirus relief program designed to support more research, technology for patient care, and help for lower income students' distance-learning needs.

Why it matters: Intel's donation comes on top of an earlier $10 million pledge and amid other large donations from Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Facebook and others.

  • $10 million of Intel's pledge will be set aside to help fund employee-led and community efforts.

Details: Among the projects that will be funded is one that taps Intel and Cisco technology to turn hospital beds into "virtual ICU" rooms, Intel senior VP and PC unit head Gregory Bryant told Axios.

  • Bryant declined to comment on the business impact to Intel's PC unit from COVID-19, citing the company's quiet period before quarterly earnings, but he noted that technology is more important than ever.
  • "People are physically interacting less. They are connecting more than ever. That’s all based on technology. The technology we deliver is essential to helping people get through this as safely as possible," Bryant said.

Go deeper

Fed: Rate hikes "will soon be appropriate"

The Federal Reserve's headquarters building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials expect "it will soon be appropriate" to raise the central bank's main target interest rate, setting the stage for a rate hike at its next meeting in mid-March.

Driving the news: In a statement following a two-day meeting published Wednesday afternoon, however, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee teed up its next move without taking new action.

How long it’s taken to confirm Supreme Court justices

Expand chart
Data: Axios research, U.S. Supreme Court, Supreme Court Historical Society; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

It takes a U.S. president an average of 70 days from the date a Supreme Court seat is vacated to nominate a replacement, according to data from the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Why it matters: With news outlets reporting liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's plans to retire, Democrats will be looking to confirm President Biden's nominee with enough time to refocus the national political debate ahead of the midterms.

Updated 36 mins ago - Science

Blizzard likely to hit New England this weekend as "bomb cyclone" forms

Computer model projection of the precipitation and wind field from the weekend storm in the Northeast. (Earth.nullschool.net)

A powerful blizzard is likely to strike parts of New England and the Mid-Atlantic beginning Friday and lasting into the weekend, with snow totals that are likely to be measured in feet.

The big picture: The joining of weather systems embedded in both the polar, or northern branch, of the jet stream and the southern branch is projected to create a bomb cyclone. Such storms undergo a process known as bombogenesis, with their minimum central air pressure readings plunging at least 24 millibars in 24 hours.