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Steven Dillingham on Jan. 14. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham announced his resignation on Monday, ending his term nearly a year before it ends.

Why it matters: Dillingham's resignation comes a week after multiple employee whistleblowers told the bureau's internal watchdog that they were under pressure to gather and publish rushed data on documented and undocumented immigrants.

  • Bureau employees said they were concerned that the data would be inaccurate, did not fully understand what they were being asked to analyze, and that "incomplete data could be misinterpreted, misused or otherwise tarnish the Bureau's reputation," the Commerce Department told Dillingham in a Jan. 12 memo.

Where it stands: In a Jan. 14 response letter to the agency, Dillingham said that those involved in the data collection were to "stand down" and stop data reviews.

What he's saying: "None of us could anticipate that as we fully launched the 2020 Census, a global health crisis would upend a schedule and plans which had been carefully constructed over a decade," he said in a farewell letter to his colleagues.

  • "Nor would we anticipate the impact this crisis would have on our numerous vital household surveys and economic products which guide decisions across the public, private, and not-for-profit sector."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December dismissed a challenge against Trump's attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants from influencing congressional apportionment determined by the 2020 Census.

  • As noted by the New York Times, the White House installed four high-ranking political appointees in the bureau while it pushed for a count of undocumented immigrants.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
Jan 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden-Harris, Day 1: What mattered most

President Joe Biden and first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrive at the North Portico of the White House. Photo: Alex Brandon-Pool/Getty Images

The Axios experts help you sort significance from symbolism. Here are the six Day 1 actions by President Biden that matter most.

Driving the news: Today, on his first full day, Biden translates his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into action — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives, Caitlin Owens writes.

2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.