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Quavo performs onstage at Michael Rubin’s Fanatics Super Bowl Party at Loews Miami Beach Hotel on February 01, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.

Kevin Mazur | Getty Images

Michael Rubin’s e-commerce powerhouse Fanatics has increased its value to $6.2 billion — up from $4.5 billion – after raising a $350 million Series E funding round, according to a person familiar with the company’s transactions.

The individual spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity as the company hasn’t yet made an announcement. The Fanatics declined to comment when asked about the company’s funding and new valuation, but Rubin will appear on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday to discuss the deal.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Fanatics’ latest funding round, which the person said was only targeted to be $250 million. But with Fanatics e-commerce operations up 30% this year — which the company did confirm — despite no major sports for nearly five months, investors “oversubscribed” for the company’s Series E funding, the person told CNBC.

The investment round was led by Fidelity, Thrive Capital, with participation from Franklin Templeton and Neuberger Berman. Goldman Sachs was the exclusive placement agent for the transaction.

Both the National Football League and Major League Baseball benefited from the company’s increased valuation as well. Both leagues collectively invested $150 million in Fanatics in 2017, and this new funding round results in a $100 million equity increase in their holdings in Fanatics.

The company, which grossed $2.5 billion in 2019, plans to use the new funding to accelerate its v-commerce strategy,  through additional rights acquisition and mergers and acquisitions. The funding round is the last financing as a private company, and it is believed Fanatics’ next announcement will be an IPO although no timetable has been decided.

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A jogger passes in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, on June 17, 2020.

Michael Nagel | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures were flat on Thursday night after the S&P 500 failed once again to reach its record high from February.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up just 20 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures traded marginally higher as well. 

The S&P closed the regular session down 0.2%. Earlier in the day, it briefly traded above its record closing high of 3,386.15. The gyrations between gains and losses through the day came as tech shares outperformed while names that would benefit from the economy reopening struggled.

Facebook, Netflix and Alphabet all closed higher and Apple rallied to an all-time high. Meanwhile, Gap and American Airlines both fell at least 1.8%. JPMorgan Chase slid 0.6%.

“The SPX’s negative reversal and its inability to make new highs today will receive many of the headlines. But the day’s intra-day sell off was much less severe than Tuesday’s,” Frank Cappelleri, executive director at Instinet, said in a note. He added Thursday’s fall “did little to alter [its] bullish patterns.”

If the S&P 500 breaks out for a fresh record, it would be the index’s fastest recovery from a 30% drop in its history, according to data compiled by Ned Davis Research. 

The S&P 500 remained 0.7% higher for the week despite Thursday’s decline. The broader market index has also rallied more than 50% from an intraday low set March 23.

Stimulus talks

To be sure, sentiment was kept in check as lawmakers seem unable to move forward with a coronavirus stimulus bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she will not restart talks with Republicans on the matter until they increase their aid offer by $1 trillion. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow also told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” that the administration and Democrats were at a “stalemate.”

“Given the current fiscal stalemate, it is extremely unlikely that consumers receive any additional fiscal support in August. Needless to say, the outlook for September is highly dependent on fiscal policy,” said Aneta Markowska, chief economist at Jefferies, in a note.

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A view from Sterling Library at Yale University.

Stan Godlewski | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Yale University’s undergraduate admissions process “illegally discriminates” against White and Asian students, the Department of Justice said Thursday.

A two-year investigation into the Ivy League school found that “race is the determinative factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year,” in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the DOJ said in a press release.

The department said Yale must agree not to use race or national origin as criteria in its next admissions cycle, and that if it plans to consider race in the future, “it must first submit to the Department of Justice a plan demonstrating its proposal is narrowly tailored as required by law, including by identifying a date for the end of race discrimination.”

Yale denied the allegation. Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for the university, said in a statement to CNBC that the Justice Department made its conclusions before Yale had provided enough information to show that its practices “absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent.”

“At Yale, we look at the whole person when selecting whom to admit among the many thousands of highly qualified applicants,” Peart said.

“We are proud of Yale’s admissions practices, and we will not change them on the basis of such a meritless, hasty accusation.”

Earlier this year, the DOJ reportedly asked a federal appeals court to overturn a prior ruling that Harvard College does not discriminate against Asian Americans in its admissions process.

The DOJ’s probe of Yale found that Asian American and White students are one-tenth to one-fourth as likely to be admitted to the New Haven, Connecticut, university as Black students with comparable academic resumes, the press release said.

“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination,” said Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the department’s Civil Rights Division, in the press release. “Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division. It is past time for American institutions to recognize that all people should be treated with decency and respect and without unlawful regard to the color of their skin.”

The DOJ added: “Yale rejects scores of Asian American and White applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit.”

The Justice Department also accuses Yale of racially balancing its classes.

In a separate letter, the department warned that if Yale does not agree to the demanded changes by Aug. 27, the DOJ “will be prepared to file a lawsuit to enforce Yale’s Title VI obligations.”

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Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health

Patrick McDermott | Washington Nationals | Getty Images

The top official at the National Institute of Health on Thursday said that Russia’s coronavirus vaccine skipped “fundamental parts” of the approval process, saying some people have coined it “Russian roulette.” 

“I think virtually every vaccine expert in the world looking at this has been quite concerned whether this was a wise decision. Some have called this Russian roulette,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH, said during a conference call with reporters.

NIH is part of the federal government’s program, called Operation Warp Speed, designed to accelerate the development, manufacturing and distribution of vaccines and treatments to fight the coronavirus. 

Scientists and health officials across the globe have questioned the safety and efficacy of Russia’s vaccine, which President Vladimir Putin claimed “works quite effectively.” Putin said that Russian health authorities approved what would be the first coronavirus vaccine and said that one of his daughters has already taken it. 

“Although I know that it works quite effectively, it forms a stable immunity and, I repeat, has passed all the necessary checks,” Putin said. 

On the call Thursday, Collins said Russia only conducted a phase one clinical trial of its vaccine, administering it to around 100 people, and decided “that was good enough.” Medical experts have warned, however, that it’s unknown whether a vaccine would work and what the potential side effects would be without a large-scale phase three clinical trial. 

“If that was the standard, we would have been declared success several months ago because we had that experience of successful phase one trials,” Collins said. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told National Geographic in an interview that he “seriously doubts” Russia has proven its vaccine is safe and effective. 

“Having a vaccine … and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things. We have half a dozen or more vaccines, so if we wanted to take the chance of hurting a lot of people or giving them something that doesn’t work, we could start doing this, you know, next week if we wanted to,” Fauci said during a National Geographic panel moderated by ABC News Correspondent Deborah Roberts that aired on Thursday. 

The World Health Organization said it’s in contact with Russian regulatory authorities to conduct a rigorous review of the country’s vaccine before recommending it to other nations for procurement. 

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden puts his mask back on after delivering remarks following a coronavirus briefing with health experts at the Hotel DuPont on August 13, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, called for a nationwide mask mandate on Thursday, drawing a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who rarely wears a mask himself and opposes such mandates. 

“Every single American should be wearing a mask when they’re outside for the next three months at a minimum,” Biden said at a press appearance in Wilmington, Delaware. “Every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing, the estimates by the experts are that it will save over 40,000 lives in the next three months. Forty thousand lives, if people act responsibly.”

“It’s not about your rights. It’s about your responsibilities as an American,” said Biden, flipping the script on Republicans who argue that mandates infringe on an individual’s right not to wear one.

The coronavirus has infected more than 5.2 million people in the United States, killing over 166,000.

The former vice president was joined on stage by his newly announced running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, who spoke after he did.

“What real leadership looks like is Joe Biden, willing to speak up, sometimes telling us the stuff that we don’t necessarily want to hear, but we need to know,” said Harris. “And the need for this mandatory mask wearing will also be about what Joe has articulated, and what a Biden/Harris administration will do.” 

There is no national mask mandate in place, but more than two dozen governors across the country have instituted statewide mandates that people wear masks outside. The mandates have been issued by both Democratic and Republican governors, including some who consider themselves Trump allies, in response to the surge of coronavirus cases this summer. 

Biden’s call for a national mandate put him squarely on the side of these governors and the vast majority of public health experts, who cite mask wearing as one of the simplest things people can do in order to protect themselves and those around them from the virus.

This has become especially urgent in light of new research suggesting that as many as 40% of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic. This means there could be tens of thousands of people right now who are infected with the highly contagious virus, but don’t know it because they don’t have any symptoms. 

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris are seated prior to participating in a briefing on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from public health officials during a campaign stop in Wilmington, Delaware, August 13, 2020.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

“Wearing a mask is less about you contracting the virus,” said Biden, “it’s about preventing other people from getting sick.”

Biden and Harris received two briefings together in Wilmington on Thursday, one on the coronavirus pandemic and another on the economic downturn caused by the virus. 

The briefing on Covid-19 was led by four public health experts: Dr. David Kessler, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, professor of public health at Yale’s School of Medicine, former U.S Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and Dr. Nicki Lurie, a former assistant secretary of preparedness and response at the Department of Health and Human Services.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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Apple removed Epic Games’ Fortnite from its iPhone App Store on Thursday, saying that the game violated Apple’s guidelines for its software distribution platform. 

“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users,” an Apple spokesman told CNBC in a statement. “As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store.”

Fortnite was still available on Google’s Play Store on Thursday. Apple said in its statement that it will make efforts to work with Epic Games to enable Fortnite to return to the platform.

On Thursday, Epic Games challenged not only Apple but Google by introducing a new way to buy character outfits and weapons at a discount by paying Epic Games directly instead of using Apple’s in-app purchase service, which is required for digital goods, and takes a 30% cut.

Users who paid Epic Games directly would receive a 20% discount on in-game currency, versus users who paid through Apple’s App Store or Google Play, who would pay a higher amount. On Thursday, in the Fortnite app, clicking on a button to purchase in-game items brings up a browser window and directs the user to input his credit card information into the Epic Games system.

Apple said in its statement that Epic Games enabled a feature in its app that was not reviewed by the company’s App Review approval process. “They did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said. 

As the ban was enacted, Epic Games tweeted about new content inside Fortnite called Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite. It’s a reference to a famous Apple ad from the 1980s that framed the computer maker as a fighter against conformity. 

Fortnite is one of the most popular games in the world. It’s available on a range of different devices, including Android phones, Windows, and consoles in addition to iPhones. As of May, it had 350 million registered players across all of its platforms and billions of hours are spent playing it per month. 

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has long criticized Apple for its control of the App Store. In July, he told CNBC that the store was an “absolute monopoly.” In April, in response to news that Apple allowed Amazon to use its own credit card processing in the Prime Video app, he called for “digital stores opening up to payment processing competition.” 

“Apple has locked down and crippled the ecosystem by inventing an absolute monopoly on the distribution of software, on the monetization of software,” Sweeney told CNBC in July. “They are preventing an entire category of businesses and applications from being engulfed in their ecosystem by virtue of excluding competitors from each aspect of their business that they’re protecting.”

Epic Games wants to create its own gaming marketplace that works across platforms, including iPhones, Android, and Windows. One of the Epic Games store’s primary selling points to game makers is that it takes a lower fee from purchases. Apple said in its statement that Epic Games is pushing for a “special arrangement.” 

Apple’s App Store rules have recently been the focus of congressional scrutiny. In a hearing in July, the House antitrust subcommittee pressed Apple CEO Tim Cook about Apple’s App Store policies.

Developers including Sweeney regularly criticize Apple’s 30% cut of digital goods, saying it is too rich and it makes it difficult to run their businesses profitably. Cook defended Apple’s policies at the hearing and said that if customers don’t like the App Store’s rules, “you can buy a Samsung.” 

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US President Donald Trump answers questions during a news conference in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on August 12, 2020.

Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said that negotiations on additional coronavirus relief funding are at an impasse on Capitol Hill in large part because Democrats want to give billions of dollars to support the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting efforts.

“They need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots,” Trump said in a Fox Business interview Thursday morning. “But if they don’t get those two items that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money, that means they can’t have universal mail-in voting. They just can’t have it,” Trump said. “Sort of a crazy thing. Very interesting.”

Trump had been asked what specifically was causing a breakdown in communication between the White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

The president has repeatedly claimed that the 2020 election will be “rigged” and rife with fraud if an expected surge of mail-in ballots is allowed to take place. Election experts say those claims are false.

The president’s most recent comments suggest he believes he can quash expanded mail-in voting plans, and the Postal Service’s ability to accommodate them, if he refuses to agree to fund those efforts.

Democrats, meanwhile, worry that a slew of recent operational changes made by the new postmaster general, a major donor to Republicans and Trump-supporting committees, could harm the integrity of the election.

Members of both parties have called on the postmaster general, Louis DeJoy, to reverse the sweeping changes, which have been blamed by mail workers’ advocates for widespread mail delays.

“We’re getting complaints across the board” of a slowdown in mail deliveries, said Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, in an interview with CNBC.

“Anything that slows down the mail is the opposite of the what the people in this country want and deserve,” Dimondstein said.

Democrats, as part of their $3 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal, want to include a $25 billion infusion for the Post Office, which has hemorrhaged billions of dollars during the pandemic. That stimulus package also included $3.6 billion for election funding, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said is partly to ensure there are enough polling places and that they are spaced out and open long enough to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“It’s a health issue. You shouldn’t have to choose between your health and the ability to cast your vote,” said Pelosi, who accused Trump of “undermining the health of our democracy” by refusing to put up money for absentee voting or the Postal Service.

Talks between Democratic leaders and the White House have broken off, as the two sides remain “miles apart” on a deal for more relief funding, according to Pelosi.

Trump’s remarks to Fox Business expanded on his prior claims that mail-in voting is impossible if he doesn’t approve the funding. 

“They’re admitting that they want $3.5 billion, and they’re not going to do a deal that’s good for the American people.  Therefore, they’re not going to get the $3.5 billion. Therefore, they can’t do the universal mail-in vote,” Trump said Wednesday during a White House press briefing.

“It’s very simple. How are they going to do it if they don’t have the money to do it?” he said.

A split over mail-in voting

With the coronavirus crisis still raging, many voters who would otherwise vote in person are expected to steer clear of polling stations for fear of contracting or spreading the disease, which has infected more than 5 million and killed at least 164,000 people in the U.S.

State leaders, in turn, have made moves to increase access to mail-in voting. More than three quarters of all voters in the U.S. will be eligible to vote by mail in the November election without providing an excuse for doing so, and a handful of states are mailing ballots directly to households, a New York Times analysis shows.

Among them is Nevada, which was sued by the Trump campaign and the GOP after its Democratic governor signed into law a bill to automatically send out ballots.

Democrats say they are far more likely than Republicans to vote for president by mail, according to a new Change Research/CNBC poll of likely voters in battleground states.

The poll, which was conducted between Friday and Sunday and surveyed 2,701 likely battleground voters, found 64% of Democrats saying they expected to vote by mail, compared with just 14% of Republican respondents and 36% of Independents. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

On Thursday, Trump encouraged Americans to vote in person without acknowledging public-health concerns.

“You know, there’s nothing wrong with getting out and voting,” Trump told Fox Business.

Trump has previously downplayed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and has pressured states to quickly lift their strict lockdown measures that contributed to an economic plunge earlier in the year. More recently, he has pushed governors to reopen schools for in-person learning, arguing that children face a low risk of harm from Covid-19 and that virtual schooling is a poor alternative.

While some experts say that mail ballots can be more susceptible to fraud than traditional voting in a booth, instances of voter fraud are exceedingly rare.

But Trump, without evidence, has asserted that mail-in voting is highly vulnerable to foreign meddling – even tweeting in June that other nations will print “millions” of ballots that will be used in the 2020 election.

Congress pressures DeJoy

As Trump rails against mail-in voting, the Postal Service and DeJoy in particular have come under fire from lawmakers in Congress.

DeJoy, 63, was selected in May by the USPS board of governors – each an appointee of Trump. A former supply-chain logistics CEO, he is the first postmaster general in nearly two decades who has not been a career employee of the agency, according to the Associated Press.

Since his tenure at USPS began in mid-June, DeJoy has set about implementing cost-cutting measures intended to revive the ailing government agency. 

In remarks at the Postal Service Board of Governors open session meeting last week, DeJoy said he is “vigorously focusing on the ingrained inefficiencies in our operations.” He stressed that the Postal Service faces financial oblivion unless “dramatic” changes are made to its structure.

Those changes reportedly include a crackdown on overtime and late trips for mail carriers, meaning that mail would be left behind in distribution centers until the next day if carriers cannot deliver it as part of their normal routes.

Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said DeJoy confirmed those and other changes after they met with him last week.

The result, APWU’s Dimondstein told CNBC, is that mail is being delayed.

“It’s not just one place, it’s not just one incident. This is now a systemic problem throughout the whole Post Office,” Dimondstein said.

In a bipartisan letter sent last Thursday, led by House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., more than 80 House members urged DeJoy to reverse the reported changes.

“Millions of Americans rely heavily on the Postal Service for the delivery of essential items — including medications — particularly during the coronavirus pandemic,” the letter said. “The operational changes reportedly taking place around the country put in doubt the ability of ill or at-risk populations to receive their medications on time, which could have dire results.”

A day later, Maloney, along with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and seven other congressional Democrats, asked USPS Inspector General Tammy Whitcomb to conduct an audit into the changes taking place under DeJoy.

“After initially denying these changes were happening, the Postal Service recently confirmed to staff that they were in fact occurring,” that letter said.

“These changes threaten the well-being of millions of Americans that rely on the Postal Service for delivery of Social Security checks, prescriptions, and everyday mail of all kinds – and they appear to pose a potential threat to mail-in ballots and the 2020 general election.”

Maloney has called for DeJoy to testify before her committee on Sept. 17. On Tuesday, she introduced a bill to prohibit the Postal Service from implementing any of the reported operational changes “until the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.”

In another letter sent Wednesday, she and Pelosi, along with 173 other House Democrats, again called for DeJoy to reverse his new policies.

DeJoy last week insisted that, “Although there will likely be an unprecedented increase in election mail volume due to the pandemic, the Postal Service has ample capacity to deliver all election mail securely and on-time in accordance with our delivery standards, and we will do so.”

He also denied that his “good relationship” with Trump was influencing his decisions.

“The notion that I would ever make decisions concerning the Postal Service at the direction of the President, or anyone else in the administration, is wholly off-base,” he said.

Trump praised DeJoy on Wednesday, while attacking the USPS for past mismanagement.

“The new man — who is a great person, a great businessman — he just got there a little while ago. The Post Office has been run poorly for many, many decades,” Trump said.

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American Airlines passenger planes crowd a runway where they are parked due to flight reductions to slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. March 23, 2020.

Nick Oxford | Reuters

American Airlines is preparing to scrap flights serving two dozen small and medium cities as the expiration of federal coronavirus aid that placed restrictions on carriers from cutting service approaches, according to an executive at the airline.

Carriers are required to maintain minimum levels of service through Sept. 30 under a $25 billion federal aid package that also prohibited layoffs through the end of the third quarter. American was granted $5.8 billion in support under the program.

The deal was meant to preserve both jobs by providing payroll assistance and air service around the country, even though most planes were flying with a fraction of their normal passenger loads. Regulators allowed airlines some exemptions in service.

The new cancellations for up to 30 destinations could show up in fall schedules as early as next week, the American Airlines executive told CNBC. The person asked not to be identified because the changes haven’t been finalized yet. The executive didn’t say which cities could be cut.

Airline labor unions and executives from carriers themselves have been pushing Congress for another $25 billion in payroll support to keep paying workers through the end of next March, as demand remains depressed. 

The proposal has gained bipartisan political support in Congress and from President Donald Trump, but lawmakers and the White House have failed to reach a deal on a new, national coronavirus aid package that would likely house the provision for additional airline aid.

The Department of Transportation had to inform airlines by Aug. 1 if the government planned to extend the minimum service requirements.

“The Department did not propose to extend the obligations, but will use the authority in the CARES Act to monitor ongoing access by the traveling public to the national air transportation system,” a DOT spokesman said. “The Department is also prepared to implement any new provisions of law in this area if enacted by Congress.”

United Airlines isn’t planning to cut service to smaller cities as a result of the federal aid terms expiring because bookings to those destinations have generated decent demand, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Delta Air Lines declined to comment.

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Democratic presidential candidate former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg waves to his supporters at his Super Tuesday night event on March 03, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Billionaire former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention next week as party leaders wonder when he will start spending big to back Joe Biden’s campaign for president. 

A spokeswoman for Bloomberg confirmed to CNBC that he will be a featured speaker at the virtual convention that’s slated to start on Monday. Bloomberg, a former mayor of New York, has been a vocal supporter of Biden’s since his own withdrawal from the Democratic primary in March.

A convention official told CNBC that Bloomberg plans to target President Donald Trump in his speech and specifically go after his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He will make the case that Trump has poorly handled the economy and the way he’s dealt with the spread of Covid-19 has made what the official described as the “economic crisis” worse. His remarks will include how he believes Biden is the leader the country needs to get through the ongoing pandemic. 

Bloomberg also plans to highlight his work with Biden and President Barack Obama during his time as mayor of New York, while highlighting the former vice president’s handling of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

That development comes as Bloomberg’s allies have been speaking with him about when and where he’ll make his next big investment to support Biden.

“My sense is that he is supportive but not yet fully engaged,” a friend of Bloomberg’s told CNBC. “Lots of verbal shrugging,” said another. 

After spending $1 billion on his own campaign, which only won 60 delegates, CNBC reported in May that Bloomberg was huddling with his advisors and associates to plot where his big spending spree for Biden will go toward.  

Since then, Federal Election Commission records show that he’s given nothing to either Biden’s campaign or political action committees supporting Biden’s candidacy. Many people close to him, including those who have spoken with either his team or Bloomberg himself, now say that the timing of his future contributions is fluid. The earliest some believe he will start giving big to Biden is after the convention itself.

“I urge him to come forward and do it,” longtime Democratic donor Bernard Schwartz told CNBC. “For whatever reason he’s been very quiet over this period of time.”

Schwartz, who says he’s known Bloomberg for years, anticipates the business titan will start giving massive contributions to Biden after the convention. 

Others, who often spoke on the condition of anonymity as these conversations were deemed private, were not as convinced big money is coming from Bloomberg immediately following the convention. 

“I have seen a lot of people saying really good things, but I have not heard that it has pushed Mike to do anything,” said a longtime Bloomberg confidante. Another said: “I have seen a lot of people saying really good things, but I have not heard that it has pushed Mike to do anything. That said, I think it is getting to a s–t or get off the pot juncture.” 

Bloomberg, who has a net-worth of over $54 billion, said he would spend whatever it takes to defeat President Donald Trump. He did end up transferring $18 million to the Democratic National Committee shortly after dropping out of the race. Bloomberg representatives told NPR that he’s already spent over $350 million on Democrats’ efforts to overtake the commander in chief. 

Those investments include $35 million to his own digital platform, Hawkfish, which recently signed a contract with pro-Biden super PAC American Bridge and reportedly picked up a deal with another pro-Biden group, Unite the Country. 

Democrats are still wondering when and how much Bloomberg plans to spend with just under 90 days until November. 


Others set to speak at the virtual convention include Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  

Bloomberg also spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in support of then-nominee Hillary Clinton. 

A note sent out to supporters from Bloomberg’s office said that this year he will speak about “why we have the best candidate to meet today’s challenges and get big things done.” Bloomberg recently wrote a glowing opinion piece about the ticket of Biden and his newly announced running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris. 

A representative for the convention did not return a request for comment. 

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Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook, speaks on the second day of the 56th Munich Security Conference. The fight against propaganda campaigns and other attempts at manipulation costs Facebook billions every year.

Tobias Hase | picture alliance | Getty Images

Facebook on Thursday outlined the threats that the company is working to counter ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. 

These threats by foreign and domestic actors include:

  • Attempts to use social media to suppress voter turnout by spreading false information about how voting works in the midst of a pandemic. 
  • Attempts to corrupt public debate during vote counting. 
  • Hack and leak operations where a bad actor steals information and releases it to influence public debate. 

The threats were outlined by Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, in conjunction with the Thursday launch of Facebook’s Voting Information Center, which will provide information to Facebook and Instagram users about how and when to vote, how to register, how to vote by mail and how to vote early.

“We want to make sure people have access to the latest, authoritative information about preliminary results on and after election night,” Gleicher said. 

Asked about how Facebook is preparing to handle attempts by President Trump to discredit mail-in voting, Gleicher said this is something the company is focused on. 

“In particular because it looks increasingly like we may not have results on election night,” said Gleicher, adding that Facebook is prepared to provide users with accurate information about the vote counts on election night and the following days. 

“It’s particularly important that people know not just where the vote is, what’s happening, what’s going to happen next and that there is a process in place that is working to get to an accurate and fair result,” he said.

Gleicher added the company is prepared to take action against posts from any Facebook users that incite violence or clearly violate the social network’s community standards.

“We will continue to evolve our response to stay ahead of our adversaries and ensure the integrity of the U.S. elections,” Gleicher said. 

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