Screenshot: Axios

Efforts to get students internet access during the coronavirus pandemic has "sped up momentum" in Congress to try and bridge the digital divide, Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) said an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What she's saying: "So what was originally a problem not for everyone around the country, suddenly became a dire and very time-sensitive issue, because these kids weren't able to go to school and participate and learn," Meng said, on student's access to online learning.

  • "This pandemic highlighted how important it is not just for students who are trying to do their homework, who might be going on field trips virtually, but, like you mentioned, telehealth," Meng said.

The bottom line: At the start of the pandemic, 55 million students across the U.S. were unable to physically get to school, Meng told Axios.

Go deeper: Coronavirus exposes the digital divide's toll

Go deeper

Updated Sep 20, 2020 - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

A coalition of 156 countries agreed Monday to a "landmark" agreement aimed at the fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe, the World Health Organization announced Monday.

The big picture: 64 higher-income countries, including European Union members, are among the signatories to the deal, known as "COVAX." The U.S. is not participating in the scheme.

Sep 20, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Career scientists won't be "easily cowed" by political vaccine pressure

The career scientists involved in the approval process will not be swayed by politics, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

Why it matters: Gottlieb's comments come amid fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.

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