The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out its latest life expectancy and death rate numbers this morning, and the figures are pretty grim.

The bottom line: "Life expectancy declined in the U.S. for the second consecutive year in 2016" from 78.7 years to 78.6 years, the CDC said. "This was the first time life expectancy in the U.S. has declined two years in a row since declines in 1962 and 1963."

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  • One major reason Americans are dying sooner on average: the opioid epidemic. The death rate from drug overdoses was 21% higher in 2016 than in 2015.
  • It's affecting people of all ages, and no state had a higher drug overdose death rate than West Virginia (52 deaths per 100,000 people, or 2.5 times higher than the national rate).
  • Dying from unintentional injuries — like car crashes or drug overdoses — is now the third-leading cause of death.
  • Heart disease and cancer remain the leading killers, but death rates from those diseases actually declined from 2015 to 2016.

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7 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began —AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.