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Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

More than 1,000 employees at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed a letter highlighting "ongoing and recurring acts of racism and discrimination" against Black employees at the agency, NPR reports.

The state of play: By Sunday evening, about 9% of the agency's workers had signed the letter, which claims the CDC has fostered an "oppressive monoculture that stifles the growth of Black professionals and inhibits their ability to fully contribute their talents and skills."

  • It states that Black employees comprise of only 10% of senior leadership and 6% of CDC's 2019 class of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, described as a training program for future leadership.
  • It also alleges that white managers regularly promote white staff while restricting "the advancement of Black employees in the workplace."
  • Black employees "routinely experience bullying, excessive criticism, hostility, implicit bias and overt racism from white colleagues with little recourse," the letter states, claiming it has created a "culture of exclusion and racial discrimination."

The big picture: The grievances in the letter are placed in the context of the coronavirus' disproportionate impact on Black Americans, alongside the ongoing protests against systemic racism. It asks that the agency declare racism a public health crisis in the U.S.

  • "Failing to address racism as a fundamental cause of health disparities is a key reason why we have witnessed little progress in reducing many of these disparities in the United States over the past 50 years," the letter states.
  • The signatories ask for a number of workplace-related changes at the CDC, including implicit bias training and increasing the number of Black employees in leadership.

Read the letter, obtained by NPR:

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: Voters of color worry about militias, arrests

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.6% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Fears that armed militias, police or COVID-19 await them at the polls are disproportionately shaping how Americans of color think about in-person voting, according to an Ipsos poll for Axios.

Why it matters: Participation by voters of color could decide whether President Trump or Joe Biden wins, and whether Democrats take control of both chambers of Congress.

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.