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Twenty million U.S. seniors lack a high-speed wired connection to the internet, according to a new study by the nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services (OATS), which works to get seniors access to the internet.

Why it matters: Internet access has long been critical for seniors, but has become absolutely essential during the pandemic for access to healthcare, online shopping, social outlets and more.

By the numbers:

  • Black seniors are 2.5 times likelier and Latinos more than 3.3 times likelier than whites to lack fixed internet access.
  • Medicaid enrollees are more than 2.7 times likelier to lack fixed Internet access.
  • Rural Americans are 1.6 times likelier to lack fixed internet access.

Between the lines: While many of those without wired internet have a smartphone, the group notes that a larger screen is often needed to fully utilize internet-based services.

What they're saying: "Getting older adults online has never been more urgent," OATS said in its report. "The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our nation's systems for social support, communications, and health care, demonstrating that home-based internet and digital skills are an essential lifeline for older adults."

What's next: OATS has a goal to get 1 million more seniors online this year.

Go deeper

The mad dash for COVID vaccines among Minnesota seniors

Data: Minnesota Department of Health; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Minnesota's system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for citizens 65 and older again saw extraordinary demand this week.

By the numbers: More than 226,000 seniors entered the lottery for one of just 9,425 doses available at state pilot sites this week, MDH told Axios.

16 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

59 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."