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Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) apologized on the House floor Wednesday for "the abrupt manner of the conversation" he had with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on the steps of the Capitol, but denied reports that he used "offensive name-calling words."

Catch up quick: The Hill reported on Tuesday that Yoho called Ocasio-Cortez "disgusting" and a "f--king b-tch" during and after a conversation about the correlation between rising crime and current levels of unemployment.

  • Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday: "That kind of confrontation hasn't ever happened to me — ever. I've never had that kind of abrupt, disgusting kind of disrespect levied at me,

What he's saying: "It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful. Having been married for 45 years with two daughters, I'm very cognizant of the language I use," Yoho said.

  • "The offensive name-calling — words attributed to me by the press, were never spoken to my colleague, and if they were construed that way I apologize for their misunderstanding," he continued.
  • Yoho concluded: "I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my god, my family and my country."

Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet: "Republican responds to calling a colleague 'disgusting' & a “f—ing b*tch” w/ 'I cannot apologize for my passion' and blaming others. I will not teach my nieces and young people watching that this an apology, and what they should learn to accept. Yoho is refusing responsibility."

Go deeper

Return-to-work plans on ice after COVID spike

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even more "back-to-office" callbacks are being postponed amid a surge in COVID-19 infections.

Why it matters: It feels like March 13, 2020, all over again. When businesses sent all their workers home, it was an early big hint the pandemic was going to upend our lives.

How the Delta variant ups the stakes in the war against COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The dominant Delta variant's ability to efficiently infect people and rapidly grow inside a person is enabling the coronavirus to regain its footing in the United States.

Why it matters: "The solution is right in front of us — get everybody vaccinated and we wouldn't even be talking about this," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Apple debuts plan to detect images of child sexual abuse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple announced new iPhone features Thursday that it said would enable the detection and reporting of illegal images of child sexual abuse while preserving users' privacy.

Driving the news: One new system will use cryptographic hashes to identify illegal images that users are uploading to Apple's iCloud without Apple directly snooping in users' troves of photos, which can be encrypted.