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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Some public health experts have suggested that pro athletes should be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, believing it could engender confidence in those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.

The big picture: Though there was backlash over the summer when it looked like leagues were consuming an unfair proportion of limited testing resources, the benefits of athletes as "vaccine-influencers" may be too great to pass up.

  • Worth noting: Researchers in 2009 found that parents — regardless of political party — became more amenable to getting their child vaccinated for H1N1 after President Obama's daughters got their shots, per WSJ (subscription).

What they're saying:

  • "I have fantasies that we have video of everyone from Dr. Fauci to LeBron James getting their COVID vaccine," said Sandra Quinn, the chair of the family science department at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health.

The bottom line: Former Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton already expressed a willingness to get vaccinated on TV, which is a great start.

  • Yes, but: Polls show that Black adults are the most skeptical when it comes to trusting this vaccine, making the influencer's demographic of paramount importance.

Go deeper: As thousands of athletes get coronavirus tests, nurses wonder, what about us? (WashPost)

Go deeper

Florida police arrest data scientist who challenged state on COVID-19 dashboard

Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard displayed on a computer screen. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Rebekah Jones, a former Florida health department data scientist who says she was wrongly fired last year, has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Driving the news: Jones turned herself in Sunday night after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Authorities raided her home last month, causing outcry online after she tweeted a video of the incident.

Updated Jan 18, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.