AP

Whole Foods' CEO John Mackey held a town hall on Friday with Amazon CEO Jeff Wilke, at which he reassured Whole Foods employees that the $13.7 billion merger was going to be nothing short of "so incredibly wonderful."

  • The partnership was love at first sight, but: "[L]ike an old traditional marriage, where there are all kinds of rules and chaperones, we can't consummate the marriage, until we're actually officially hooked up..."
  • Mackey said that Amazon is "not stupid enough to go change" the brand that Whole Foods has built, but that "over time, there could be other formats that evolve that — that might — wouldn't be branded Whole Foods Market, potentially, wouldn't be our standards."
  • Changes, via Mackey: "[T]hey are more customer-centric than we are. ... I think, sometimes, our company's gone a little bit too much team member focus at the expense of our customers."

Go deeper

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

Wisconsin Democrats: Don't return absentee ballots by mail

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes after a Supreme Court decision on Monday prevented the state from extending its deadline for counting absentee ballots, The New York Times reports.

Why it matters: 1,344,535 of the 1,706,771 Wisconsin voters who requested absentee ballots have returned them, according to the Times. The remaining 366,236 could prove critical in the battleground state, where President Trump won by a thin margin in 2016.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

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