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Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner's family's business, Kushner Companies, received substantial loans from companies after Kushner attended White House meetings with their executives.

Why it matters: "There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business, say government ethics experts," per the Times. Kushner stepped down as CEO from the company when he joined the White House, but has "retained a vast majority of his interest."

  • The loans received include one for $184 million from Apollo Global Management, which was in talks with officials over infrastructure policy, and another for $325 million, from Citigroup, following a White House meeting with Kushner and the CEO last year.
  • A spokesman for Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell, Peter Mirijanian, told the Times that Kushner "has taken no part of any business, loans or projects with or for" his family company since he became a White House official.
  • Former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Don Fox, told the NYT: "Why does Jared have to take the meeting? Is there not somebody else who doesn't have these financial entanglements who can brainstorm freely with these folks?"

Go deeper: Trump family vs. John Kelly

Go deeper

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

6 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.