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Addressing the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night, GOP candidate Madison Cawthorn detailed his personal journey of recovering from a car accident that left him in a wheelchair at age 20 and going on to run for Congress at age 25.

Why it matters: Cawthorn, a motivational speaker who defeated the Trump-endorsed candidate in the June primary for North Carolina's 11th congressional district, is likely to become the youngest Republican ever elected to Congress in November. He will fill the seat once held by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

What he's saying: "At 18, I was in a horrific car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down. Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed. I was given a one percent chance of surviving. Thanks to the power of prayer, a loving community, and skilled doctors, I made it."

  • "It took me over a year to recover. My first public outing in a wheelchair was to a baseball game. Before my accident, I was 6’ 3”. I stood out in a crowd. But as I was wheeled through the stadium, I felt invisible."
  • "At 20, I thought about giving up. However, I knew I could still make a difference. My accident gave me new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. God protected my mind and my ability to speak. I say to people who feel forgotten, ignored, and invisible: I see you. I hear you."

He continued: "If you don’t think young people can change the world, then you don’t know American history."

  • "George Washington was 21 when he received his first military commission. Abe Lincoln was 22 when he first ran for office. James Madison was 25 when he signed the Declaration of Independence."
  • "In times of peril, young people saved this country abroad and at home. We held the line, scaled cliffs, crossed oceans, liberated camps and cracked codes."

The bottom line: At the end of his speech, Cawthorn was assisted as he stood up from his wheelchair and concluded, "Be a radical for freedom. Be a radical for liberty. Be a radical for our republic, for which I stand, one nation under God, with the liberty and justice for all."

Go deeper

Tracking the pandemic's unequal impact

Expand chart
Data: Morning Consult/Axios; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The pandemic was bound to hit the most economically vulnerable among us the hardest. New polling data from Morning Consult, out this morning, shows the degree to which those difficulties were more concentrated among people of color.

Catch up quick: The Morning Consult/Axios Inequality Index has tracked the economic experience of adults in three wage groups since May 2020. We began publishing the findings in May of this year, and six months in, we’re slicing the data a little differently — and looking at inequality between ethnicities.

2 hours ago - Health

WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaking in Geneva in October. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization said Monday in a new risk assessment that it believes the COVID-19 Omicron variant poses a "very high" risk to the globe because it may be more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Why it matters: Though the WHO acknowledged there are still many uncertainties associated with the variant, the agency said it believes the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron around the world is "high."

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.