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.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

3 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China