A baby boy is monitored for opioid withdrawal inside a Charleston, W.Va. hospital. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The opioid epidemic has left thousands of West Virginian children neglected, abused or in foster care, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: "West Virginia's journey provides a case study in how legal battles against drug companies can fail to balance the scales, leaving behind more conflict than resolution in communities still reeling from the crisis," the Post writes.

By the numbers: The state has settled 4 lawsuits for a total of $94 million — a small sum in light of recent settlement agreements.

  • But the state's child welfare problem has only deepened. Almost 6,900 children are in foster care — double the number from a decade ago. An estimated 80% have been affected by the drug crisis.
  • Counties with higher rates of opioid overdose deaths also tend to have more child abuse and neglect cases.

The bottom line: The situation is dire. The Post reports that for more than a decade, foster homes and emergency shelters have faced bed shortages.

Go deeper: The opioid epidemic will cost the U.S. as much as $214 billion in 2019

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 mins ago - Economy & Business

A white-collar crime crackdown

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

America has waited a decade for an aggressive government crackdown on white-collar crime. Now, just before the election, and in the middle of a bull market, it has arrived.

Why it matters: When times are good, investors become more trusting and more greedy. That makes them more likely to put their money into fraudulent or criminal enterprises.

  • After a decade-long bull market, there is no shortage of those frauds to prosecute.
30 mins ago - Technology

Lawyers crystal-ball the Google antitrust case

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Justice Department's antitrust suit against Google is a strong, straightforward monopoly case, competition lawyers and experts tell Axios. But that doesn't mean it'll be an easy journey for the government.

The big picture: Winning any antitrust case is a heavy lift. It's even more of a challenge to pull off victory in a future-looking case that seeks to make room for potential new competition to flourish.

The pandemic is getting worse again

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Due to a database error, Missouri had a 3 day gap in reporting from Oct. 11-13; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Every available piece of data proves it: The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse again, all across America.

The big picture: As the death toll ticks past 212,000, at a moment when containing the virus ought to be easier and more urgent than ever, we are instead giving it a bigger foothold to grow from.