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On Friday, July 17 Axios Login author Ina Fried hosted a conversation on how the coronavirus is hastening the shift to telemedicine and remote education, featuring Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman and Center for Connected Health Policy Executive Director Mei Kwong.

Rep. Grace Meng highlighted the impact of the digital divide on families and discussed efforts at the federal level to establish a $2 billion grant that would allow people to borrow devices and hot spots.

  • On the challenges of digital equity in telehealth and remote education: "We're looking at larger issues of infrastructure. But what can we do now as soon as possible, without having to reinvent the wheel to get Americans access to the Internet so that they don't fall further behind and that they can stay healthy and get help if they need as soon as possible."

Mei Kwong discussed how coronavirus has brought telehealth to the forefront of national conversations on health and focused on the importance of having access to digitally enabled devices as well as broadband.

  • How telehealth depends on connectivity as well as hardware: "Telehealth will not work unless you are able to connect. That's not only through broadband but also having the right type of equipment at the other end...That right equipment is either a smartphone or a laptop and not everybody has access to that. And also, you have folks who may not have powerful enough connectivity for them to facilitate a telehealth interaction."

Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman focused on the educational gap that has been exacerbated by the digital divide and stressed the importance of prioritizing connectivity in making sure students don't fall behind.

  • "It's very clear that access to the internet needs to be treated as a fundamental right. And the basic need for multiple reasons, but certainly educationally."

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, who discussed the significance of the shift to 5G, the future of remote work and education, and why it matters.

  • "The fundamental infrastructure of business will depend on 5G. And it's such a profound change. It's almost like when steam power went to electricity or we went to the computer for the first time."

Thank you Qualcomm for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Race and voting in America

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Logo: Miranda Leung/Axios. Photos: Bettmann, Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images

Americans believe that all citizens have equal access to our fundamental democratic right: voting. But the fact is racial politics still suppress votes.

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID-related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.