Palmer Luckey, a founder of Facebook-owned VR company Oculus, has stealth a new company working on surveillance technology that could be deployed on country borders and military bases, according to a report from the New York Times. Peter Thiel and his VC fund, Founders Fund, are said to be planning to fund the venture.

"We need a new kind of defense company, one that will save taxpayer dollars while creating superior technology to keep our troops and citizens safer," said Luckey in an email to the Times. Luckey has reportedly discussed border technology with Trump advisor Stephen Bannon and recently met with the secretary of interior.

Why it matters: Luckey and Thiel are part of the small part of Silicon Valley that backs President Trump, and the only two who have been public about it, investor Marc Andreessen recently told Axios's Dan Primack. Thiel made headlines last year when he donated to Trump's campaign and spoke at the Republican National convention, while Luckey's support for anti-Hillary Clinton organization was made public last year and reportedly led to his eventual departure from Facebook.

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Transcripts show George Floyd told police "I can't breathe" over 20 times

Photo: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Newly released transcripts of bodycam footage from the Minneapolis Police Department show that George Floyd told officers he could not breathe more than 20 times in the moments leading up to his death.

Why it matters: Floyd's killing sparked a national wave of Black Lives Matter protests and an ongoing reckoning over systemic racism in the United States. The transcripts "offer one the most thorough and dramatic accounts" before Floyd's death, The New York Times writes.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,035,231 — Total deaths: 132,042 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
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  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
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  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.