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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Roughly 94% of Americans surveyed by Hiya, an app that blocks spammers, say they don't pick up the phone for unidentified callers due to the onslaught of robocalls.

Zoom out: State health departments across the U.S. use calls to perform contact tracing, which aims to help slow the spread of the coronavirus by encouraging quarantines and other precautions.

By the numbers: 4 billion robocalls targeted Americans in January alone, according to call-blocking company YouMail.

  • That's 1,500 robocalls every second, or 12.2 calls for every person.

What's new: Pandemic-specific scams have been added to standard swindles about Social Security, auto warranties and credit cards.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
53 mins ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

13 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."