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Data: Epic Health Research Network (EHRN.org); Chart: Axios Visuals

A new study found health care visits for gun injuries rose sharply last year during the pandemic.

Why it matters: The new data from electronic health records helps confirm media reports and preliminary data suggesting a surge in gun violence in many cities.

By the numbers: According to data compiled by the Epic Health Research Network, firearm injuries that resulted in a documented health care visit began spiking in the late spring of 2020 and peaked in October at 73% higher than the monthly average in 2018 and 2019.

  • After dipping in the late fall and early winter last year — while still remaining well above pre-pandemic averages — documented firearm injury rates surged again in the spring, with June 2021 levels 64% higher than in 2019.
  • People of color were particularly vulnerable — firearm injury visits increased by 76% for Hispanic patients and 89% for Black patients, while rising 40% for whites.

Between the lines: The initial surge coincided with the early summer protests over police violence and with a massive increase in gun purchases.

Background: EHRN began tracking firearm injuries at the request of the Chicago HEAL Initiative, a group of health care systems dedicated to curbing violence in vulnerable Chicago neighborhoods.

Go deeper

Parkland father Fred Guttenberg joins anti-gun violence group

Fred Guttenberg speaks with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Feb. 5, 2020. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fred Guttenberg, the father of a 14-year-old girl killed in the 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, announced Thursday that he is joining an anti-gun violence group as a senior adviser.

Why it matters: The announcement comes on the heels of Nikolas Cruz pleading guilty to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for the massacre. Guttenberg joins the Brady PAC, which supports candidates promoting gun violence prevention, ahead of next year's midterm elections.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.