Nov 15, 2017

Pentagon to pay for soldier's gender transition surgery for first time

Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

The Pentagon plans to pay for a gender transition surgery for an active-duty service member on Tuesday, the first such procedure to be approved by the Pentagon, according to NBC. The infantry soldier receiving the surgery identifies as a woman; NBC reports she got her Combat Infantry Badge in Operation Anaconda in 2003 in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: Trump said in August that transgender people would be banned from the military, and signed a memo to prevent the military from giving treatment for sex-reassignment surgeries. A RAND Corporation study found that surgeries and hormone treatments would cost "a tiny sliver of the Pentagon budget," NBC reports.

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Bernie's historic Jewish fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the first Jewish nominee of a major American political party — but that history-making possibility is being overshadowed by his conflicts with America's Jewish leaders and Israel's leadership.

The big picture: That's partly because we're all focusing on the implications of Democrats nominating a self-described democratic socialist. It's also because a candidate's religion no longer seems to matter as much to voters or the media, making the potential milestone of a Jewish nominee more of a non-event.

Coronavirus "infodemic" threatens world's health institutions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.

Why it matters: The tide of bad information is undermining trust in governments, global health organizations, nonprofits and scientists — the very institutions that many believe are needed to organize a global response to what may be turning into a pandemic.

Go deeperArrow17 mins ago - Health

America's addiction treatment misses the mark

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Addiction treatment in the U.S. is critically necessary yet deeply flawed.

The big picture: Drug overdoses kill tens of thousands of Americans a year, but treatment is often inaccessible. The industry is also riddled with subpar care and, in some cases, fraud.

Go deeperArrow47 mins ago - Health