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AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File

Does Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, plan to run for U.S. president?

"No," he told BuzzFeed on Tuesday when asked. "I'm focused on building our community at Facebook and working on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative" (the philanthropic organization he's started with his wife).

With that said, it's unclear exactly how BuzzFeed phrased the question and whether Zuckerberg means he has no current plans or never will—details that are crucial in today's carefully crafted communications with the press.

But the signs were there! Speculation over Zuckerberg's potential interest in public office began to swirl earlier this month when he announced he would be traveling to each state around the country to meet with locals. Vanity Fair even rounded up the clues.

  • Zuckerberg had also previously convinced his board to include a clause that would allow him to take a government job without losing control of Facebook.
  • He's hired a former White House photographer, he's dialed back his atheism, and he hired Obama's former campaign manager to run policy efforts for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Alternative scenario: If anything, Zuckerberg is more likely taking a deeper interest in the political system, which he knows he'll have to work with (and sometimes against) to achieve the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's goals, which are lofty.

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Education: More schools are reopening in the U.S.
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  6. World: Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines.
Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Latin America turns to China and Russia for COVID-19 vaccines

Several countries in the Americas have received their first vaccine shipments over the past few weeks — not from the regional superpower or from Western pharmaceutical giants, but from China, Russia, and in some cases India.

Why it matters: North and South America have been battered by the pandemic and recorded several of the world’s highest death tolls. Few countries other than the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture vaccines at scale, and most lack the resources to buy their way to the front of the line for imports. That’s led to a scramble for whatever supply is available.

More schools are reopening in the U.S.

Students settle into a classroom in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

More than 72% of K-12 students are now attending schools that offer in-person or hybrid models of learning.

The big picture: The U.S. is seeing an almost-universal return of schools that were in-person as of November, as well as a gradual return in parts of the country that had been virtual for almost a year.