A rendering of the Scener experience for San Diego Comic Con as seen on a laptop. Image: Scener

Scener, a small spinoff from RealNetworks, is expanding its service, which lets people in separate locations watch video simultaneously while also chatting, offering a digital, socially distant option for watching a movie or TV show with friends.

The big picture: The company's product is one of many for which the pandemic has been, in its way, fortuitous, making what might have been a niche experience into a social lifeline.

Driving the news:

  • Scener, which had worked with Netflix and HBO Max, is announcing today new support for Amazon's Prime Video, Disney+, the premium version of Hulu, Vimeo and Funimation.
  • Scener, which works via a Chrome browser plug-in, aims to protect copyrighted content by requiring each device to log into the video service being used.
  • Scener is also working with San Diego Comic Con to offer online tracks in movies and anime that attendees can watch from home by logging into their existing streaming services.

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Axios-Ipsos poll: Fear of voting

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±3.0% margin of error for the total sample; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to worry about in-person voting — with nearly two in three seeing it as a large or moderate risk to their health — according to this week's installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This could pose a significant disadvantage for Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates in November if the pattern holds — especially in states where high infection rates persist, or where there are significant hurdles to mail-in, absentee or early voting.

Trump: Coronavirus is "under control"

President Trump said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he thinks the coronavirus is as well-controlled in the U.S. as it can be, despite dramatic surges in new infections over the course of the summer and more than 150,000 American deaths.

  • “They are dying, that's true. And you have — it is what it is. But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague,” he told Axios' Jonathan Swan.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.