Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. Photo: Charles Dhaparak / AP

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the longest-serving representative currently in the House, allegedly fired a female employee because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances," and then settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015, BuzzFeed reports. Rep. Conyers did not admit fault as part of the settlement and did not respond to multiple requests from BuzzFeed for comment.

Why it matters: Congress has paid $17 million in harassment settlements over the last 20 years. Conyers' former employee told BuzzFeed that the process of reporting the harassment she faced made her feel as though she had no choice but to accept the settlement offer and stay silent. For example, a complainant must sign a confidentiality form before moving forward with the complaint. "I was basically blackballed. There was nowhere I could go," she said.

BuzzFeed says the case is illustrative of "a grinding, closely held process" that was the "mechanism by which Congress has kept an unknown number of sexual harassment allegations secret."

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Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

Data: The COVID Tracking Project. Note: Vermont and Hawaii were not included because they have fewer than 20 cases per day. Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month.

Why it matters: The U.S. doesn't yet know what it looks like when a pandemic rages on relatively unchecked after the health system has become overwhelmed. It may be about to find out.

The impending retail apocalypse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Because of the coronavirus and people's buying habits moving online, retail stores are closing everywhere — often for good.

Why it matters: Malls are going belly up. Familiar names like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew have filed for bankruptcy. Increasingly, Americans' shopping choices will boil down to a handful of internet Everything Stores and survival-of-the-fittest national chains.

Biden campaign using Instagram to mobilize celebrity supporters

Collins appears on the Build live interview series in November 2019. Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

The Biden campaign is launching a new initiative today that will draft Hollywood celebrities for Instagram Live chats with campaign officials and other Biden supporters.

Why it matters: The campaign, called #TeamJoeTalks, is an attempt to open up a new front on social media, drawing on celebrities’ Instagram followers to help find and motivate voters while large parts of the country remain locked down.