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Biden swipes at Fox News "altar call" over COVID vaccinations

President Biden jabbed at Fox News during his CNN town hall Wednesday night, saying the network had "an altar call" over stepping up messaging on getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: Fox News has long been criticized for allowing some of its personalities to spread misinformation as they've railed against pandemic measures.


  • The network started pointing viewers in a public service announcement this week to a link on its website to locate their nearest coronavirus vaccines — though a spokesperson stressed in an email to Axios that its vaccine PSAs were nothing new.
  • On Monday, Sean Hannity implored viewers to "take COVID seriously." Two other hosts on the most-watched U.S. cable news network also advocated for COVID-19 vaccinations on their shows.

What he's saying: "I'm not being a wise guy now, you know, one of those other networks is not a big fan of mine, one you talk about a lot, but if you notice, as they say in the southern part of my state," Biden said, without naming Fox.

  • "They've had an altar call, some of those guys. All of a sudden they're out there saying, let’s get vaccinated. Let’s get vaccinated. The very people before this were saying ... I shouldn't make fun of it. That's good."

What they're saying: While the network's current PSA on coronavirus vaccines received media attention this past week, a spokesperson for Fox News said there have been vaccine-focused PSAs dating back to January this year.

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Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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