Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

From Serena Williams to the U.S. women’s national soccer team, there is clearly no shortage of women at the top of their athletic game. And yet, for most sports, the pay gap between elite female athletes and their male counterparts continues to widen.

Why it matters: Economics speaks volumes, and the dollars just aren’t there for nearly all female athletes, even those playing professionally. 

  • Professional women’s leagues in softball, ice hockey and soccer have struggled to survive, while even the WNBA has low pay that prompts many female stars to play overseas either instead of, or in addition to, playing professionally in the U.S.
  • Women's sports and leagues are less likely to be aired on big networks and during prime TV spots, decreasing their exposure and their ability to cultivate stronger brand recognition.
  • And some of the trends boosting sports revenue the most, such as esports and legalized gambling, seem only poised to exacerbate the matter by focusing primarily on men's sports.

Yes, but: Women have had some success in collectively bargaining for better pay. It started in the 1970s when Billie Jean King led a revolt among female tennis players seeking equal pay. More recently, in 2017, the U.S. women’s hockey team threatened to skip the World Cup if they weren’t better compensated.

  • And while it hasn’t necessarily helped their wallets, the rise of social media allows female athletes, and smaller sport athletes more broadly, to increase their reach and impact.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

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Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.