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Data: The World Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

New data shows the mortality rate for children under 5 is continuing to fall, as improvements in nutrition and health reduce the earliest and most tragic deaths.

Why it matters: The continued decline in the youngest deaths is one of humanity's greatest victories, but the COVID-19 pandemic puts some of that progress in danger.

By the numbers: Data released this month by the World Bank shows the mortality rate for children under 5 has fallen by 59% over the past 29 years.

  • That still means 5.2 million children under 5 died in 2019 — or more than 14,000 each day.
  • But as recently as 1960, nearly 1 out of every 5 children globally died before their 5th birthday. In 1800, it was nearly 1 out of every 2.

Of note: Child mortality is increasingly concentrated in a few geographic areas, especially sub-Saharan Africa, where 1 in 13 children die before turning 5.

The catch: Development experts worry COVID-19 could slow or even reverse progress on child mortality, less because of the virus itself than because the pandemic may disrupt distribution of needed medicine and food.

The bottom line: It's entirely reasonable to look at the state of the world today and feel depressed. But there are millions of children alive today who will live to see their 5th birthday and many more, because they were born in 2020 and not 30 years ago. That matters, too.

Go deeper: Over 513,000 U.S. teens, children have been diagnosed with COVID-19

Go deeper

Dec 14, 2020 - Health

U.S. surpasses 300,000 coronavirus deaths

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. topped 300,000 coronavirus deaths on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The U.S. is averaging 2,427 deaths a day — 300 more fatalities per day than during the pandemic's initial peak in the spring, per the COVID Tracking Project. It took less than three months for the U.S. to record another 100,000 deaths.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

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