New data shows the mortality rate for children under 5 is continuing to fall, as improvements in nutrition and health reduce the earliest and most tragic deaths.
Why it matters: The continued decline in the youngest deaths is one of humanity's greatest victories, but the COVID-19 pandemic puts some of that progress in danger.
Some of the same technological advances that have enabled us to partially weather the economic and health tolls of the pandemic may be paradoxically discouraging us from taking fuller measures.
Why it matters: Thanks to tech like video chat and automation, a large portion of the population has been able to mostly escape the effects of the pandemic — and even thrive in some cases. But far too many of us risk being left further behind as the virus spreads.
Americans' political affiliations could determine which source they trust for information about the coronavirus, with 51% of Republicans saying they trust President Trump over CDC scientists, according to a Quinnipiac poll out Tuesday.
Why it matters: It's another indication of how partisan politics have consumed the national conversation about the virus, and how Trump's attacks on his own health officials have affected public opinion.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued holiday-specific guidelines this week to limit COVID-19 risks posed by gatherings and celebrations prior to the fall and winter holidays.
Why it matters: With the flu season just around the corner, medical experts are worried about the likelihood of battling COVID-19 and influenza at the same time. The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, and the U.S. is averaging roughly 830 per day. Cases and deaths could worsen again as the weather gets colder and people move indoors.
Trump-appointed health department aides interfered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly COVID-19 reports “in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals,” Politico’s Dan Diamond reported late on Friday.
What it says: "[E]mails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump's optimistic messages,” reports Diamond, citing emails reviewed by Politico and three people familiar with the matter.
After months of cleaner air because of lockdowns, air pollution in many major cities has nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels — and in a few cases, exceeded it.
Why it matters: Smoggy skies are a major, if under-recognized, danger to human health and a substantial drag on the economy. If the lockdowns demonstrated what city life could be like with cleaner air, the fact that pollution has rebounded before the global economy has, underscores how difficult it is to stop.
An investigation by Senate Democrats published Wednesday found that there were "significant" U.S. Postal Service delays this summer for mail-order prescription drugs, according to information provided by five major pharmacies.
Why it matters: Demand for mailed prescriptions has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, per the report by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Within a mere eight months, COVID-19 has damaged years of global progress in children's health and other areas by disrupting essential health services in many countries.
Why it matters: These disrupted services will result in a myriad of near- and long-term health problems. The global health organization PATH points to a projected increase in deaths in children under the age of 5 that could erase up to a decade of progress, according to preliminary findings shared first with Axios.
Americans are reporting symptoms of depression three times more than they were before the pandemic, according to a recent study published in JAMA.
Why it matters: The downstream effects of the coronavirus on our health, and particularly our mental health, are getting worse.
Data shows that while telemedicine has boomed during the pandemic, its growth has varied depending on different states' lockdown policies.
Why it matters: As the pandemic begins to come under control, how lasting the telemedicine boom will be depends ultimately on whether the services can truly replace doctors.