Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate Commerce Committee is sending written questions to Cambridge Analytica's parent company and Facebook about the revelation that the data consulting firm improperly gathered user data from the social giant.

Why it matters: This is the most aggressive action by Republicans yet to investigate the reports about the Trump-linked analytics firm.

“They’ve got responsibility to make sure that that information is used in an appropriate way, so we want to find out how it was gotten, how it was used, and we want Facebook obviously to be transparent about that.”
— Sen. John Thune

What they're saying: "We’ve got a questionnaire that we are sending out to the folks at Facebook and we’re going to have a series of questions for them to answer, and then we’re asking them to come in and brief us, and then we’ll decide based on that," said committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.)

The details: He said he wasn't sure yet whether Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg should testify before Congress, as some have called for. A committee spokesperson said the panel also planned to send questions to Cambridge Analytica parent SCL. A Facebook spokesperson said Monday night the company had received the questions and appreciated the opportunity to respond to them.

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Florida reports another daily record for coronavirus deaths

Nurse practitioner Barbara Corral and a research assistant conduct a COVID-19 vaccination study on August 7 in Hollywood, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida's health department on Tuesday reported 276 new coronavirus deaths, surpassing the state's record from July 31.

The big picture: The state also recorded over 5,800 new cases — on the low side for a state that is one of the domestic epicenters for the virus.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 20,126,452 — Total deaths: 737,285 — Total recoveries: 12,380,410Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,098,452 — Total deaths: 163,533 — Total recoveries: 1,670,755 — Total tests: 62,513,174Map.
  3. States: State testing plans fall short of demand — National Governors Association's bipartisan leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order.
  4. Axios-Ipsos poll: 1 in 2 has a personal connection to COVID-19.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. World: New Zealand reports first local cases for 102 days — Why you should be skeptical of Russia's vaccine claims.

Exclusive: Facebook cracks down on political content disguised as local news

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Facebook is rolling out a new policy that will prevent U.S. news publishers with "direct, meaningful ties" to political groups from claiming the news exemption within its political ads authorization process, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: Since the 2016 election, reporters and researchers have uncovered over 1,200 instances in which political groups use websites disguised as local news outlets to push their point of view to Americans.