- Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 1,140 words ... 4½ minutes.
The public's view of almost every industry has improved since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Sara Fischer writes from a new Axios/Harris poll.
Why it matters: Businesses in America were already undergoing a transformation from being solely focused on profits to also focusing on values.
The poll ranks the 100 most visible brands in America, based on Harris Poll research. Companies were rated by 34,026 U.S. adults, from June 24-July 6.
Leading the index are companies that have focused on solving problems related to the coronavirus:
75% of respondents agree that during the shutdown, companies have been "more reliable than the federal government in keeping America running."
What's next: Consumers in the poll overwhelmingly approve of companies that address social and societal issues.
Americans really love Clorox right now.
The pandemic has ushered in a new wave of public approval for companies that have helped modernize and digitize the American household, Sara Fischer writes from our new Axios/Harris poll.
Virtual work and school needs are being supported by enterprise technology companies like Apple, IBM, Zoom and Microsoft, while social media technology companies rank last on the list.
President Trump during a news conference last week. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
The Trump administration is sending increased PPE, test kits and top health officials like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx to coronavirus hotspots as part of a campaign called the "Embers Strategy," White House officials told Axios' Alayna Treene.
Why it matters: The push is part of a larger effort to show President Trump is taking the pandemic seriously, something White House officials describe as a "renewed focus."
Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are beginning to decline, after a summer of sharp increases. Some of the hardest-hit states are improving significantly, Axios' Sam Baker and Andrew Witherspoon report.
This week, the U.S. overall saw a 2.8% drop in new infections — within the range we classify as "holding steady."
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
Yesterday's House antitrust hearing didn't nail a case that the Big Tech companies are monopolies. But lawmakers wrung some surprising admissions from the CEOs about how they wield their market power, Axios' Kyle Daly writes.
Here's where the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee pressed each company hardest:
All the companies, subcommittee chair David Cicilline said, have become bottlenecks for distribution, using their chokehold over data to surveil potential competitors and their control over technologies to extend their power.
The bottom line: The CEOs dodged most of the bullets aimed at them.
🗞️ How it's playing ... N.Y. Times 1-column lead headline: "LAWMAKERS GIVE TECH 'EMPERORS' JABS FROM 2 SIDES ... 5 HOURS OF TESTIMONY — Parrying Questions From House, 4 Chiefs Strike Humble Chord."
The four tech CEOs, appearing together (remotely) for the hearing, "looked more like four guys dressed up in their first graduation suits — serious, sincere, a little uncomfortable — than the four horsemen of the digital apocalypse," N.Y. Times chief fashion critic Vanessa Friedman writes (subscription).
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Many colleges' plans to bring students back to campus this fall are almost certain to crash and burn, Axios' Caitlin Owens and Marisa Fernandez write.
Reality check: Before the fall semester has even begun at most schools, colleges’ reopening plans are already crumbling.
Outdoor classes: Rice University in Houston plans to take some fall courses outside.
FBI Director Chris Wray and intelligence officials warned about China’s increased capability to interfere in U.S. elections in separate classified hearings with the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
What we're hearing: Wray and other officials cited concerns that China is developing the ability to interfere with local election systems and target members of Congress to influence China policy, sources said.
Photo: Matt McClain/Pool/Getty Images
Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that House members must wear masks when voting, after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), who often shunned them and was known to vote without one, tested positive. (AP)
Gohmert told Texas TV station KETK from his D.C. office:
I can't help but wonder if by keeping a mask on, and keeping it in place, ... if I might have put some germs, some of the virus on t0 the mask and breathed it in.
Reality check: That's not how it works, sir.
This was Nationals Park in D.C. on Tuesday night, during the seventh inning between the Washington Nationals and the Toronto Blue Jays, who won 5-1.
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