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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 FWD.us 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.

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

4 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.