CNBC.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos brings you the day’s top business news headlines. On today’s show, CNBC’s Ylan Mui reports on how lawmakers want to invest in states repeatedly hit by hurricanes using the infrastructure bill. Plus, Apple unveils which states will use its digital drivers license feature when it launches in the fall.
Biden pledges a vast federal response to Hurricane Ida for ‘as long as it takes’
The federal government is doing everything in its power to help Louisiana and Mississippi rescue residents and recover from Hurricane Ida, President Joe Biden told the governors of those states on Monday.
“We’re there to help you get back on your feet,” Biden said during a virtual briefing at the White House with Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves and others.
The hurricane made landfall Sunday as a powerful Category 4 storm, knocking out power to as many as 2 million people in Louisiana and Mississippi. By Monday morning, one death had already been attributed to the storm. Edwards told MSNBC he expected that number to rise considerably.
The vast federal response to the storm reinforces one of the pillars of Biden’s approach to the presidency: his belief that the government is uniquely equipped to mobilize assistance to millions of people.
Apple announces first states that will let you keep a digital version of your driver’s license on your iPhone
Eight states will roll out a feature allowing users to add driver’s license and state IDs to Apple Wallet for iPhone and Apple Watch to use at security at participating airports, Apple announced Wednesday.
Arizona and Georgia are the first states to adopt the feature and Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma and Utah will follow, though the company did not specify a timeline.
The news comes just months after Apple said at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June that it was working on the feature with the Transportation Security Administration. The update is a crucial step in Apple’s plan to replace physical wallets and will offer more convenience to travelers looking for a touchless airport experience, the company said.
Adding IDs to the Wallet app works similarly to uploading credit cards and transit passes, Apple said. Once users scan the ID, they will also be asked to complete facial and head movements as an additional security measure.
After tapping their mobile ID at identity readers in airports, users must approve a note from TSA using Face ID or Touch ID. The company says customer data is “encrypted and protected against tampering and theft” and that the ID can only be viewed by the owner.
WHO says it is monitoring a new Covid variant called ‘mu’
The World Health Organization is monitoring a new coronavirus variant called “mu,” which the agency says has mutations that have the potential to evade immunity provided by a previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination.
Mu — also known by scientists as B.1.621 — was added to the WHO’s list of variants “of interest” on Aug. 30, the international health organization said in its weekly Covid epidemiological report published late Tuesday.
The variant contains genetic mutations that indicate natural immunity, current vaccines or monoclonal antibody treatments may not work as well against it as they do against the original ancestral virus, the WHO said. The mu strain needs further study to confirm whether it will prove to be more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.