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Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, after the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January 2021. Photo: Melina Mara/Pool/Getty Images

Former Vice President Mike Pence's office on Thursday said he underwent surgery at a hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, Wednesday to implant a pacemaker after experiencing symptoms associated with a slow heart rate over the past two weeks.

The backdrop: Upon being nominated vice president in 2016, Pence disclosed in his medical records that he was diagnosed with an asymptomatic left bundle branch block, his office said.

What they're saying: "I am grateful for the swift professionalism and care of the outstanding doctors, nurses and staff at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, including Dr. Brett Atwater and Dr. Behnam Tehrani," Pence said in a statement.

  • "I also appreciate the consultation of my longtime Indiana physicians, Dr. Michael Busk and Dr. Charles Taliercio at Ascension St. Vincent."
  • "My family has been truly blessed by the work of these dedicated healthcare professionals."

Go deeper

Updated Apr 20, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on systemic racism in health care

On Tuesday, April 20 Axios discussed historic health inequities and the injustice in medical research that have impacted trust in the health care system and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, featuring White House senior advisor for COVID-19 response Andy Slavitt, White House senior policy advisor for COVID-19 equity Dr. Cameron Webb and California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris.

Andy Slavitt and Dr. Cameron Webb discussed the White House COVID-19 response, highlighting rates of vaccinations and the administration's focus on equitable access.

  • Dr. Cameron Webb on how addressing short-term issues around racial equity can have a long-term impact: "There's the long issue of making sure that racial justice is a priority, making sure that we're serving rural communities and a very real and meaningful way...[It's] really critical to keep in mind is the short game in the long game."
  • Andy Slavitt on the impact of universal vaccine access for adults in America, focusing specifically on communities of color: "We are averaging about four million vaccines per day over the weekend [and] each day [during the week] we're doing we're averaging over three million per day."

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris discussed California's approach to addressing health equity, safety precautions, and building trust in public messaging:

  • On addressing systemic inequities and the issue of trust: "We see higher rates of disease and death in our most vulnerable communities, so we are sending higher numbers of vaccines to those vulnerable communities to proportionally target that risk. But sending vaccines to vulnerable communities alone is not going to solve the problem. So we need to address the issues of trust that have developed over decades."

Axios Vice President Yolanda Brignoni hosted a View from the Top segment with YouTube Director & Global Head of Healthcare & Public Health Partnerships Dr. Garth Graham who discussed protecting platforms against health misinformation.

  • "We're working actively to remove misinformation from [YouTube]. It's also important to replace that with the kinds of engaging information around science and public health...You can help reach communities at scale with scientific information in an engaging way."

Thank you YouTube for sponsoring this event.

Updated 9 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker