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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg's 2020 campaign announced Friday that he would scrap his plan to create his own PAC — which would utilize his campaign infrastructure and staff to support the Democratic nominee — and will instead donate $18 million to the DNC.

Why it matters: It's a significant reneging of a key promise from the New York billionaire, who pledged to continue to pay his campaign staff at least through November to back whoever was selected to take on President Trump.

  • Earlier this month, Bloomberg dismissed a slew of campaign staffers and told them to reapply for spots in the new PAC, per Politico.

What they're saying:

"While we considered creating our own independent entity to support the nominee and hold the President accountable, this race is too important to have many competing groups with good intentions but that are not coordinated and united in strategy and execution. The dynamics of the race have also fundamentally changed, and it is critically important that we all do everything we can to support our eventual nominee and scale the Democratic Party’s general election efforts. 
"We therefore believe the best thing we can all do over the next eight months is to help the group that matters most in this fight: the Democratic National Committee."

The state of play: The Bloomberg campaign said the $18 million would hopefully be used to expand the DNC's effort "across battleground states, drawing in part from our own incredibly experienced and talented organizing staff."

  • It also said the campaign would transfer several of his former field offices to state parties and work to "accelerate the hiring pace for important positions in organizing, data, and operations."
  • A DNC official added they are working with every former primary presidential campaign to facilitate the transition of their infrastructure into supporting Democrats’ general election efforts.

The big picture: Joe Biden's campaign called the investment "extraordinary," adding it "will go a long way in ensuring that we can fund the grassroots efforts in key battleground states that will be necessary to win this November."

  • DNC Chair Tom Perez said that Bloomberg and his team were "making good on their commitment to beating Donald Trump" with the donation.

Between the lines: Former candidates' committees can make unlimited transfers to the DNC under federal law, per a DNC official.

  • So, in theory, Bloomberg's $18 million could be just the beginning.

Worth noting: Bloomberg spent more than $100 million to help flip the House for Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections.

Go deeper: Bloomberg's historic bust

Go deeper

Exclusive: GOP Leader McCarthy asks to meet with Biden about the border

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy at CPAC. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has requested a meeting with President Biden to discuss the rising numbers of unaccompanied migrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a letter sent on Friday.

Why it matters: Biden is facing criticism from the right and the left as agency actions and media reports reveal spiking numbers of migrant children overwhelming parts of the U.S. immigration system. Recent data shows an average of 321 kids being referred to migrant shelters each day, as Axios reported.

Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center.

Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

China's 5-year plan is hazy on climate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's highly anticipated 5-year plan revealed on Friday provides little new information about its climate initiatives, leaving plenty to discuss in multinational meetings this year and lots of blanks for China to fill in later.

Driving the news: The top-line targets for 2025, per state media, aim to lower energy intensity by 13.5% and carbon emissions intensity by 18% — that is, measures of energy use and emissions relative to economic output.