Apr 30, 2019

Trump Organization under investigation for not paying undocumented workers

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

New York's attorney general has interviewed more than 2 dozen undocumented immigrants who claim they were underpaid or not paid at all while working extra hours at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Trump has made fighting illegal immigration a core part of his presidency and 2020 re-election campaign, but multiple reports over the past year have revealed that his businesses likely benefitted from cheap, undocumented labor. This latest revelation — which marks yet another probe into Trump's administration, campaign, foundation, inaugural committee or business — suggests that Trump Organization managers "systematically cheated" workers because they knew they were undocumented, per the Post.

Flashback: The Trump Organization fired at least 18 undocumented workers last year after media reports revealed the extent of its use of undocumented labor, per the Post. Many of those same employees are the ones who have been cooperating with the attorney general's office.

A Trump Organization spokesperson told the Post in a statement:

"The Trump Organization has extensive policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with all wage and hour laws. This story is total nonsense and nothing more than unsubstantiated allegations from illegal immigrants who unlawfully submitted fake identification in an effort to obtain employment."

Go deeper: Trump golf course knowingly employed undocumented immigrants

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Pandemic forces startups to shift gears

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.

International coronavirus treatment trial uses AI to speed results

Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs that will be included in the trial. Photo: John Philips/Getty Images

The first hospital network in the U.S. has joined an international clinical trial using artificial intelligence to help determine which treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus are most effective on an on-going basis.

Why it matters: In the midst of a pandemic, scientists face dueling needs: to find treatments quickly and to ensure they are safe and effective. By using this new type of adaptive platform, doctors hope to collect clinical data that will help more quickly determine what actually works.

We can't just flip the switch on the coronavirus

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It feels like some big, terrible switch got flipped when the coronavirus upended our lives — so it’s natural to want to simply flip it back. But that is not how the return to normalcy will go.

The big picture: Even as the number of illnesses and deaths in the U.S. start to fall, and we start to think about leaving the house again, the way forward will likely be slow and uneven. This may feel like it all happened suddenly, but it won't end that way.