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Interior Department says over 30 staffers have died from COVID-19

The Interior Department on Friday said that more than 30 staff members have died from the coronavirus.

By the numbers: Melissa Schwartz, Interior communications director, said that more than 4,000 staffers have reported contracting the disease.


  • In a video released Wednesday, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that 34 staffers have died. But Schwartz clarified that the video was taken earlier in the week and that since then, one more person has passed.

What they're saying: "Though many people are vaccinated, our country still faces increased rates of COVID-19 infections and more aggressive variants," Haaland said.

  • Haaland added that the Interior Department will follow the mask guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • "Each state and community faces different threats, so if you are in an area with substantial to high COVID transmission rates, everyone — employees, contractors, and visitors — must wear a mask in all federal buildings no matter your vaccination status."
  • The secretary pledged to continue providing updates on vaccination guidance.

What’s next: The Interior Department is working to establish a process for employees and contractors to confirm their vaccination status.

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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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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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