Mar 10, 2017

PayPal co-founder: Ignoring refugees is "profoundly inhumane"

TechCrunch / Flickr CC

Much of Silicon Valley has been up in arms over Trump's recent travel ban. Max Levchin, an entrepreneur and investor best known for helping found PayPal, had some pointed comments on the topic during an event hosted by and his company, Affirm:

There's a notion of morality and humane treatment of refugees, and I think that's a problem that we have successfully—to our shame— ignored, even during the last administration, and we're now institutionalizing the ignoring. And I don't think that's good. I think that's profoundly inhumane.
You can sort of pretend like it's their crisis over there in foreign lands but these people are very human, they have very real problems. I don't think that's an immigration issue so much as a humanitarian issue.

Personal experience: Levchin himself came to the U.S. in 1991 on a refugee visa from the Ukraine with his family, though he notes he was lucky in that his family had a clear path to citizenship, unlike many other refugees.

If we want to be "America First," that doesn't prevent us from being humane and participating in parts of the world that need our help. —Max Levchin

Why it matters: Studies suggest that more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. Silicon Valley employees a large number of immigrants, including in executive positions, which helps fuel the vocal concern about U.S. immigration policy.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 679,977 — Total deaths: 31,734 — Total recoveries: 145,625.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 124,686 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per CDC, those residents should "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska issues a stay-at-home order — New York tries to nearly triple hospital capacity in less than a month and moved presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's initial handling of the virus balk at call for U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The year of the protest meets the year of the lockdown

Hong Kong demonstrators protest a government ban on face masks in October. Photo by Laurel Chor/Getty Images

The year of the mass uprising has collided with the year of the coronavirus lockdown, leaving protest movements around the world stalled. 

The big picture: The enduring images of 2019 are of protest — from Hong Kong to Khartoum, across the Middle East and through much of Latin America. Seemingly overnight, though, social distancing has made such mass demonstrations almost unthinkable.

Go deeperArrow1 hour ago - World

Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health