Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photos: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appear to agree that birth control should be available over the counter.

Reality check: Experts say this would be the FDA's call. And the thornier issue is whether insurance would cover it if such a change is made.

  • That's something that Congress can decide.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires prescribed birth control to be provided without cost-sharing. So while removing the need for a prescription could make contraception more accessible, it could also end up making it more expensive.

What he's saying: Responding to an AOC tweet advocating for the policy, Cruz tweeted, "I agree. Perhaps ... we can team up here as well. A simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter. Interested?"

What we're watching: Other Democrats also jumped into the Twitter conversation to tell Cruz that they're introducing over-the-counter birth control legislation. "We'd all love to have your support," Sen. Patty Murray tweeted.

What's next: Cruz and a spokesperson from AOC's staff confirmed the two are coordinating in person, reports Politico. Legislation is in the works and they hope to introduce it soon.

Go deeper: AOC and Ted Cruz may team up for lobbying ban

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Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

Schumer and Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.