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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.

40 mins ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.

Former Georgetown tennis coach pleads guilty to accepting admissions bribes

Gordon Ernst (left) former head tennis coach at Georgetown, outside a courthouse in Boston in 2019. Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

A former Georgetown University head tennis coach has pleaded guilty Tuesday to bribery charges related to facilitating the admission of prospective applicants.

Why it matters: Gordon Ernst solicited and accepted bribes from William Singer, ringleader of the cheating scheme uncovered by Operation Varsity Blues, and families in exchange for helping prospective applicants get into Georgetown as student athletes, according to the Justice Department.