May 8, 2017

The 20-year life expectancy gap within the U.S.

Life expectancy in the U.S. varies by more than 20 years depending on what county someone lives in, according to a new report in JAMA Internal Medicine. University of Washington researchers found the gap between counties grew from 1980 to 2014 and predicted the trend will continue.

Why it matters: Public health experts have said our zip code determines our health more than our genetic code — these findings show just how big the gap is, and that it is widening. Poverty, education, and unemployment as well as smoking, lack of exercise and access to quality health care explained 75% of the difference in life expectancy, illustrating there are many interconnected levers to pull in shaping health policy.

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Reproduced from 'Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014: Temporal Trends and Key Drivers'

Best and worse places: Central Colorado counties had the highest life expectancy (87 years) in 2014. North and South Dakota counties encompassing Native American reservations had the lowest-- 66 years.

Where things got worse: Life expectancy grew 5.1 years overall but in some places it actually fell between 1980 and 2014. 8 of the 10 counties with the largest declines in life expectancy are in Kentucky.

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Virginia governor announces removal of Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue

Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that the state will remove the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond's historic Monument Avenue.

Why it matters: It's a watershed moment for Virginia, which has been at the center of a years-long national debate about whether Confederate monuments should be displayed publicly. That discussion reached a boiling point when protests about a statue of Lee in Charlottesville turned violent in 2017.

RNC expands convention search across the Sun Belt

Donald Trump, Mike Pence and their families on the last night of the Republican National Convention in Ohio in 2016. Photo: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.

The Republican National Committee is planning site visits over the next 10 days to more than a half-dozen cities — across the South and into Texas and Arizona — as it scrambles for a new convention host, people familiar with the internal discussions tell Axios.

Driving the news: The RNC's executive committee voted Wednesday night to allow most of the convention to move — with only a smaller, official portion remaining in Charlotte — after North Carolina's governor said the coronavirus pandemic would mean a scaled-back event with social distancing and face coverings.

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.