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Elena Delle Donne. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

Elena Delle Donne's request to be medically excused from the WNBA season was denied, the league's reigning MVP said Monday night.

Why it matters: Delle Donne, who has had Lyme disease since 2008, says the decision by the WNBA's independent panel of doctors is at odds with the advice she received from her personal physician.

What they're saying:

  • Delle Donne's doctor told her that she's at high risk for contracting and having complications from COVID-19.
  • But the WNBA's doctors deemed her not to be high risk and advised that she should be permitted to play in the bubble.
  • For reference: Lyme disease is not included on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of underlying conditions that could put someone at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

The state of play: Had Delle Donne been medically excused, she would have earned her full salary for the season. Now, if she chooses not to play, the defending champion Washington Mystics wouldn't have to pay her.

"I know doctors don't always agree with each other and that there are different opinions on certain things within the medical community, and now I have a player who is in an incredibly difficult situation because of the way things lined up."
— Erin Kane, Delle Donne's agent

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.