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Photo: Axios screenshot

José Andrés, the founder of World Central Kitchen and celebrated chef, said during an Axios event that survival of restaurants is a crucial part of the U.S. economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the industry.

Why it matters: The hospitality industry has faced an existential crisis since the beginning of the pandemic. "With new rounds of state-mandated restaurant and bar restrictions, and winter weather limiting outdoor dining, food services accounted for 372,000 job losses in December," the Washington Post writes.

  • As of September, 100,000 closed either permanently or long-term, according to the National Restaurant Association.

What he's saying: "You need to remember that the restaurant, every dollar getting in trickles down through the economy ... So restaurants are a hard, complicated business, but when the restaurants function, our cities function better, our rural areas function better," Andrés said.

  • The industry "employs directly millions of people and directly millions more. We are "talking distribution, we are talking farmers," he continued.
  • "We need to make sure that ... the food industry is not an industry that lives on the fringe of almost poverty, but that every American employee, every restaurant worker will make a decent living that will allow them, even in difficult moments like these, to make it through with savings and other forms of protection."
  • "[T]he people that feed America are almost under the poverty level. This is something like fundamentally has to change."

Watch the full event here.

Go deeper

Jan 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

Digital reading has exploded during the pandemic

Data: The Association of American Publishers; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pandemic has been a boon for the book industry, but specifically, it's helped to revive the ebook industry, and push the audiobook industry to new heights.

The big picture: eBooks, according to data from The Association of American Publishers, had been declining since 2014. But for the first ten months of 2020, eBooks were up 16.5% compared to the 10 months of the prior year, bringing in nearly $1 billion.

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.