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

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai, speaking at GDC 2019. Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Human Rights Campaign suspended Google from this year's Corporate Equality Index after the company failed to pull a controversial app that the LGBT rights group says equates to conversion therapy.

Why it matters: HRC's annual rankings are often touted by tech companies and have served as a valuable recruiting tool.

In a footnote to this year's company ratings, HRC said it became aware of the app, from Living Hope Ministries, which it says "supports the practice of so-called 'conversion therapy.' "

"Such practices have been rejected by every mainstream medical and mental health organization for decades. Minors are especially vulnerable, and conversion therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness, and suicide. Pending remedial steps by the company to address this app that can cause harm to the LGBTQ community the CEI rating is suspended."
— Human Rights Campaign

Apple, Microsoft and Amazon all pulled the Living Hope Ministries app from their app stores, while Google refused to do so.

Axios first reported last week that HRC was considering whether Google's actions should affect its ranking in the index.

HRC and other groups had also been seeking a meeting with CEO Sundar Pichai, but the requests went unanswered. (There had been discussions at the staff level between the groups and Google.)

Meanwhile: Many other tech companies received a perfect 100 score in the annual ranking, released Thursday, including: Adobe Systems, Airbnb, Apple, Autodesk, Best Buy, Citrix, Dropbox, eBay, Electronic Arts, Facebook, Groupon, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Lenovo USA, Microsoft, Nvidia, Salesforce, Symantec, Tesla, Texas Instruments, Twitter, Uber, Vmware, Workday and Yelp. (Google received a 100 score last year.)

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

7 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

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