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CDC will "probably" advise children under 12 to wear masks in school, Biden says

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) will "probably" urge everyone under age 12 to wear masks in school, President Biden said in a CNN town hall on Wednesday.

Why it matters: A new surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant has again raised concern about the spread of the virus as schools reopen for the fall.

What he's saying: "The CDC is going to say that what you should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school," Biden said. "That's probably what's going to happen."

  • "I do not tell any scientists what they should do," Biden added when asked how soon children under 12 will be eligible for the vaccine.
  • "They're trying to figure out whether or not there's a vaccination that affects one child at such-and-such an age and not another child," he noted. "I think it's a matter of community responsibility and I think you're going to see it work through."

Biden also urged people at large to get vaccinated, calling the new spike in cases a "pandemic for those who haven't gotten the vaccination."

  • "If you're vaccinated, even if you do catch the virus ... you're not likely to get sick," he said, adding that very few vaccinated people get infected. "You're probably going to be symptomless. You won't be in a position where your life is in danger."
  • "Let the scientists proceed."

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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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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

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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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

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.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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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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