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Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Uber is asking the U.S. government to include independent contractors in its economic stimulus plans, according to a letter being sent Monday morning by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi to President Trump. The company is not asking for a bailout or loans.

Why it matters: Many of the proposals floated for a relief bill that Congress is assembling have included new protections and benefits for employees, but that category excludes millions of "gig economy" drivers and delivery people.

The state of play: Khosrowshahi spoke on Friday with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has proposed "unemployment insurance on steroids," whereby laid-off employees would receive their entire salaries. As of Sunday afternoon, the outreach appears to have been effective:

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Uber's CEO also reached out to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but has not yet spoken with either of them.

The big picture: Khosrowshahi writes in his letter to Trump that the coronavirus has laid bare the worker protection problems inherent in Uber's labor model, and pushes for a federal fix:

"Our laws should protect all workers, not just one type of work. While I recognize that the Administration and Congress have many pressing issues before them, I urge you to act quickly to provide protections for independent workers, and, in your ongoing efforts, to consider legislative action on a 'third way' that would update our labor laws to remove the forced choice between flexibility and protection for millions of American workers. We are already working with lawmakers and Governors in various jurisdictions across the U.S. on similar legislation that would require companies like ours to provide protections and benefits to our independent contractors...
Even when the worst of this crisis is behind us, our nation and the entire world will undoubtedly have changed. Our economy will not look the same; and if we can’t restore it, we must remake it. Business leaders like myself must rise to meet that challenge, using technology to bring economic opportunity to as many Americans as possible, while helping to resolve longstanding structural problems that have left so many people without a real safety net. Uber is ready and committed to doing our part to help foster and protect work for millions of our fellow citizens. I am counting on your leadership to help realize that promise. The world has changed. Let’s change with it."

Any such changes would not only would affect those driving or delivering for Uber, but also for such companies as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Amazon Flex, GrubHub, or Postmates.

Flashback: Uber unveiled changes in January to try to comply with a new California law that tightened rules defining independent contractors. The company has also sued California, arguing that the law is unconstitutional.

Go deeper: The gig economy's coronavirus test

Go deeper

41 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
41 mins ago - Health

Many vulnerable Americans have received the coronavirus vaccine

Data: CDC, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than two-thirds of Americans 75 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, as have more than half of those 65-74, per CDC data.

Why it matters: Any future surge in cases almost certainly wouldn't be as deadly as previous waves, because older people are the most likely to die from the virus.

3 hours ago - World

Report: "Clear evidence" China is committing genocide against Uyghurs

The scene in 2019 of a site believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region. Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese authorities have breached "each and every act prohibited" under the UN Genocide Convention over the treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang province, an independent report published Tuesday alleges.

Why it matters: D.C. think-tank the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy, which released the report, said in a statement the conclusions by dozens of experts in war crimes, human rights and international law are "clear and convincing": The ruling Chinese Communist Party bears responsibility.