Collins speaks at a panel during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference on April 29, 2019. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, will no longer participate in all-male speaking panels, per a statement released on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Majority or all-male panels, or "manels," have received some public criticism in recent years for not incorporating women's voices and professional experiences, or for not considering those experiences as valuable as men's. From 2013 to 2018, "men outnumbered women 2 to 1 as event speakers," NPR reports.

What he's saying: "Starting now, when I consider speaking invitations, I will expect a level playing field, where scientists of all backgrounds are evaluated fairly for speaking opportunities. If that attention to inclusiveness is not evident in the agenda, I will decline to take part. I challenge other scientific leaders across the biomedical enterprise to do the same."

Go deeper: Women now more educated than men, but lag in workforce

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WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" in near future

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Monday that "there will be no return to the 'old normal' for the foreseeable future," but that there is a "roadmap" for struggling countries to get the virus under control.

Why it matters: A record 230,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the WHO on Sunday, as total infections approach 13 million worldwide.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 12,970,605 — Total deaths: 570,220 — Total recoveries — 7,154,492Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 3,327,388— Total deaths: 135,295 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. Public health: WHO head: There will be no return to the "old normal" for the foreseeable future.
  4. Politics: Mick Mulvaney: "We still have a testing problem in this country."
  5. World: Hong Kong Disneyland closing due to surge.
2 hours ago - Health

SPACs are the new IPOs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Churchill Capital Corp. III has agreed to acquire health-cost management services provider MultiPlan at an initial enterprise value of $11 billion, as such deals continue to proliferate as alternatives to IPOs.

Why it matters: This is the largest special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, and it also includes the largest private investment in public equity (PIPE) associated with a SPAC. Existing MultiPlan owners like Hellman & Friedman and General Atlantic will roll over more than 75% of their collective stake and own over 60% of the public company.