Today's word count is 1,116, or a 4-minute read.
Today's word count is 1,116, or a 4-minute read.
Socioeconomic disparities in health care are significantly worse in the U.S. than in other wealthy countries, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund, published in Health Affairs.
Why it matters: Wealthy Americans have long had better access to care — and therefore better outcomes — than poor Americans. And the coronavirus' disproportionate impact on low-income Americans and people of color has made those disparities glaringly obvious.
What they found: "Adults with lower incomes in the U.S. were far more likely than those in the other high-income nations ... to go without needed health care because of costs, to face medical bill burdens, and to struggle to afford basic necessities such as housing and healthy food," the study's authors write.
Yes, but: Higher-income Americans were also more likely to forgo health care because of the cost than their affluent peers in most other countries.
Between the lines: The U.S. was the only country studied that doesn't have universal health coverage along with some form of cost protections.
The bottom line: These disparities have real-world implications every day. But they've been vividly on display over the last nine months, as vulnerable populations have consistently been more likely to be infected by the virus and, ultimately, to die from it.
The Midwest and Great Plains regions, parts of which have already struggled with overwhelmed hospitals, continue to lead the U.S. with the densest concentration of coronavirus cases, Axios' Sam Baker and Andrew Witherspoon report.
The big picture: With winter approaching — and widespread vaccination still several months away — the virus is spreading with dangerous ease.
By the numbers: Over the past week, Indiana, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Utah racked up an average of at least 100 new cases per day for every 100,000 residents.
How it works: Every week for several months, Axios has been tracking the change in daily infections in each state.
The bottom line: This is simply too much coronavirus.
President Trump and his friends have received coronavirus antibody treatments that are so scarce that some states and hospitals are giving them out via a lottery system, the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: Putting aside questions of medical ethics, these high-profile examples of successful coronavirus recoveries could give the impression that the virus is much less dangerous than it is — particularly because most patients won't have access to the same game-changing treatment that these politicians did.
What they're saying: "If it wasn't me, I wouldn't have been put in a hospital frankly," Giuliani told WABC radio. "Sometimes when you're a celebrity, they're worried if something happens to you they’re going to examine it more carefully, and do everything right."
The big picture: The antibody therapies, developed by Eli Lilly and Regeneron, received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration last month to be used by high-risk patients with "mild to moderate" disease.
Almost 75% of the world's deaths last year were from non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
Why it matters: Worldwide life expectancy is now up to an average of 73 years — six years longer than it was in 2000. But chronic, and in some cases preventable, disease is also taking a bigger toll than it was 20 years ago, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.
By the numbers: Seven of the the globe's 10 leading causes of death in 2019 were from noncommunicable diseases — up from four in 2000.
Yes, but: Many communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and lower respiratory infections, remain leading causes of death in low- and lower-middle income countries.
What to watch: COVID-19 will likely make 2020's top 10, WHO officials said, as the global death toll reached the 1.5 million mark on Dec. 3.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
BioNTech and Pfizer announced Wednesday the European Medicines Agency was targeted by a cyberattack and regulatory documents related to their coronavirus vaccine submission were accessed.
Some public health experts have suggested that pro athletes should be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, believing it could engender confidence in those who are hesitant to get vaccinated, Axios' Jeff Tracy reports.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Wednesday released a detailed outline of their $908 billion coronavirus stimulus proposal, according to a copy of the draft legislation obtained by Axios.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), 72, tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, and is experiencing no symptoms as he self-isolates, he tweeted Wednesday.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced on Wednesday a partnership to help mayors across the country prepare for the distribution of limited stocks of the coronavirus vaccine.