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Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg during a briefing at the White House on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Monday that his agency would use a portion of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to address racial inequities in U.S. highway design.

Why it matters: Buttigieg's remarks at a press briefing come amid a broader discussion of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the U.S. and days after Congress passed the long-awaited infrastructure bill.

  • The program, called "Reconnecting Communities," will focus on the "legacy of highway construction built through communities" and remove or repurpose infrastructure barriers.
  • Buttigieg reiterated that whether a highway will be removed will be decided on a case-by-case basis, adding that "it's going to vary by community and we have to listen to the community."

What they're saying: "[A]t least 40% of the clean investments in this bill will go to benefit the communities that are overburdened and underserved," Buttigieg said at the briefing.

  • "If an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach ... in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that ... obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices."
  • "I don't think we have anything to lose by confronting that simple reality and I think we have everything to gain by acknowledging it," he added.

Go deeper

Nov 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden signs infrastructure bill into law

Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

President Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law on Monday, capping off the hard-fought victory for his domestic agenda.

Why it matters: The legislation includes massive investments in roads, bridges, waterways and other “hard infrastructure.” It's the biggest public-works bill since former President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system in 1956.

Updated 59 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.