Reproduced from KFF Health Tracking Poll; Note: Share includes responses for "very/somewhat worried", income is household income; Chart: Axios Visuals

Children of color have the most to lose if schools remain physically closed in the fall. Their families also have the most to lose if schools reopen.

Why it matters: The child care crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic is horrible for parents regardless of their race or income, but Black and Latino communities are bearing the heaviest burden.

The big picture: Racial inequality is a defining feature of the pandemic, both in terms of its health impact and its economic effect. This is no less true when it comes to education.

  • Children of color are more likely to fall behind the longer they stay home from school, partially because of limited access to virtual education.
  • Parents of color are also more worried than white parents about losing the other benefits that schools provide, like social services and food, according to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Only 9% of white parents are worried about their children having enough to eat at home if schools remain closed, compared to 44% of parents of color.
Reproduced from KFF Health Tracking Poll; Note: Share includes responses for "very/somewhat worried", income is household income; Chart: Axios Visuals

Parents of color are also more worried about the health risks — to teachers, their children and their families — of reopening schools for in-person learning. They were significantly more likely than white parents to say that schools should reopen later rather than sooner, per KFF.

  • These fears aren't unwarranted. Black and Latino Americans are much more likely than white Americans to be hospitalized or die from the coronavirus, especially younger adults — the demographic that has school-age children.
  • Community spread is also harder to control in these communities, as people of color are disproportionately essential workers. Multigenerational households are also more common.
  • Creative schooling solutions — like "pandemic pods" — may be out of reach for many of these parents, either because of affordability issues or because of other parents' fears about "podding" with the children of essential workers.

Between the lines: Some fears vary starkly based on income, while others are universal.

  • Most parents, regardless of their race or income, are worried about their children falling behind on emotional and social development if their children don't return to in-person school.
  • Lower-income households are much more worried that higher-income households about losing income if they are unable to work outside the home, should schools remain closed. Income is also a factor in concerns about social services and food availability, as well as access to technology needed for virtual learning.

Go deeper: Parents turn to "pods" as a coronavirus schooling solution

Go deeper

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months — Trump claims COVID "will go away" during debate.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: How to help save 130,000 livesFDA approves Gilead's remdesivir as treatment How the pandemic might endMany U.S. deaths were avoidable.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.

How the coronavirus pandemic could end

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's still the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but history, biology and the knowledge gained from our first nine months with COVID-19 point to how the pandemic might end.

The big picture: Pandemics don't last forever. But when they end, it usually isn't because a virus disappears or is eliminated. Instead, they can settle into a population, becoming a constant background presence that occasionally flares up in local outbreaks.

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