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The Defense Department revealed its Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force (UAPTF) on Friday, charging the group with examining unexplained encounters with unidentified flying objects, per a statement.

Why it matters: The task force, to be led by the Navy, comes after the Pentagon earlier this year released a number of videos of "unidentified aerial phenomena" captured by Navy pilots over the last decade.

  • The footage appears to show unidentified flying objects moving rapidly while being recorded by infrared cameras of fighter jets.

What they're saying: "The mission of the task force is to detect, analyze and catalog UAPs that could potentially pose a threat to U.S. national security," the DoD said.

  • "The Department of Defense and the military departments take any incursions by unauthorized aircraft into our training ranges or designated airspace very seriously and examine each report."
  • "This includes examinations of incursions that are initially reported as UAP when the observer cannot immediately identify what he or she is observing."
  • The department said its chief concern is the safety of its personnel and operations.

Reality check: By establishing this task force, the Pentagon and the Navy are not concluding or even suggesting the existence of aliens.

  • Rather, the military is concerned that the objects could be highly advanced aircraft flying near sensitive military facilities and in military-controlled ranges, dangerous flaws within American military technology or unknown natural phenomena that could damage aircraft or hurt service members.

The big picture: The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on legislation in June that would require the Pentagon and intelligence community to provide a public analysis of the encounters captured by the pilots, according to CNN.

Go deeper

Pharmacies, not the military, will handle COVID-19 vaccinations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Although President Trump has said the military is “all mobilized” to help distribute a coronavirus vaccine, in the end that process will almost certainly rely heavily on the pharmacies, doctors and community hospitals we’re all familiar with.

The big picture: Deciding how to distribute a vaccine is, for now, a government-driven task, and Trump has invoked the logistical expertise of the military as a way to do the job. For the public, though, this won’t feel like a military exercise, with heavy trucks rolling into town and people lining up outside medical tents. It’ll feel like going to CVS.

Quibi says it's shutting down

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Quibi, the mobile-only video subscription streaming service, is shutting down, the company announced Wednesday. The company said the decision was made to preserve shareholder equity.

Why it matters: Quibi had struggled to hit its subscriber growth targets amid the global pandemic. The app launched six months ago.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.