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Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told "Axios on HBO " that he doesn't like to think of a temporary $2 entry wage increase for workers at e-commerce warehouses "as hazard pay, because it diminishes why our people are coming to work. ... They're coming to work because they want to serve."

The big picture: The company has had to ramp up its fulfillment capacity to meet the surging demand for groceries and home goods amid the pandemic.

Full question and answer:

Axios CEO Jim VandeHei: Should companies like Walmart pay hazard pay on top of the $11 or $15 or $20 an hour? At least in these extraordinary circumstances?

McMillon: Yeah, always I think our associates should be rewarded for their hard work, regardless of the crisis. So that's a combination of their hourly wage rate, plus a quarterly cash bonus, plus all the other benefits that we provide.

So the decision that we made very early on in the process in the United States and around the world was to get them cash. And our e-commerce fulfillment centers, where we needed to hire so many people, we did go out and pay $2 additional.

I don't like to think of that as hazard pay, because it diminishes why our people are coming to work. When I talk to them, they're not coming to work because of that. They're coming to work because they want to serve. And so I think they should be financially rewarded for that, and always — post-crisis and beyond. I don't think the conversation should be only about the hourly wage rate. I think it should be about the total.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Nurses rally nationwide to demand protection amid pandemic

Healthcare workers on their way to work walk past demonstrators taking part in a national day of action in Miami on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Nurses took more than 200 active demonstrations inside and outside U.S. hospital facilities in at least 16 states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday to demand full personal protective equipment and federal government action.

Driving the news: National Nurses United (NNU) members are demanding that the Senate pass the HEROES Act, House Democrats' $3 trillion pandemic recovery package, which they said would protect health care workers by ensuring domestic production of PPE through the Defense Production Act.

GOP Rep. Rodney Davis tests positive for coronavirus

Rep. Rodney Davis. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) announced on Wednesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Davis, the top Republican on the House Administration Committee, said he has taken precautions against the virus, such as twice-daily temperature checks. He spoke to Republicans about staying safe after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) recently tested positive for the virus and spoke out against wearing face masks, Politico notes.