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

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A worker wheels a cart of Amazon packages during a delivery in New York in October. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against Amazon Tuesday night over its handling of worker safety during the pandemic, alleging the retail giant hasn't complied with workplace rules.

Details: In the suit, James also alleges that Amazon illegally retaliated when employees expressed concerns about conditions last spring, when it fired an activist following a protest by workers at a warehouse on New York's Staten Island.

  • "Amazon's flagrant disregard for health and safety requirements has threatened serious illness and grave harm to the thousands of workers in these facilities and poses a continued substantial and specific danger to the public health," James said in the suit.

For the record: Amazon filed a lawsuit against James last Friday in an attempt to stop her suing the company, arguing that worker safety claims during the pandemic are federal matters, so she would be overstepping her authority to do so.

Background: James began an investigation into Amazon following the Staten Island protest and the firing of organizers including Christian Smalls — who filed a class-action lawsuit against the e-commerce firm.

  • James argued the state had codified the right to organize in its law so the company's action raised concerns about illegal retaliation.

The other side: Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said in an emailed statement to Axios, "We care deeply about the health and safety of our employees, as demonstrated in our filing last week, and we don't believe the Attorney General's filing presents an accurate picture of Amazon’s industry-leading response to the pandemic."

Go deeper

NAACP sues Trump for inciting Capitol riot

President Trump greets supporters at the "Stop The Steal Rally" on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., before the Capitol riots. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The NAACP filed a lawsuit Tuesday against former President Trump and far-right extremist groups in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riots that killed five people and injured dozens of officers.

Why it matters: The federal lawsuit filed on behalf of House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) shows that Trump continues to face legal problems stemming from the riot, even after he was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial Saturday.

2 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 2 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.