Jul 17, 2020 - Health

Pandemic builds federal momentum to bridge the digital divide

A screenshot of Axios' Ina Fried and Rep. Grace Meng speaking virtually

Screenshot: Axios

Efforts to get students internet access during the coronavirus pandemic has "sped up momentum" in Congress to try and bridge the digital divide, Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) said an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What she's saying: "So what was originally a problem not for everyone around the country, suddenly became a dire and very time-sensitive issue, because these kids weren't able to go to school and participate and learn," Meng said, on student's access to online learning.

  • "This pandemic highlighted how important it is not just for students who are trying to do their homework, who might be going on field trips virtually, but, like you mentioned, telehealth," Meng said.

The bottom line: At the start of the pandemic, 55 million students across the U.S. were unable to physically get to school, Meng told Axios.

Go deeper: Coronavirus exposes the digital divide's toll

Go deeper