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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic was a major test of whether essential workplaces could keep their workers safe — and many of them failed.

Why it matters: The missteps of employers and the lack of oversight from federal agencies may have led to deaths across America.

Driving the news: The Wall Street Journal's Alexandra Berzon, Shalini Ramachandran, and Coulter Jones are out with a deep dive on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and its failings amid the pandemic.

The historically underfunded and understaffed OSHA was ill-equipped to handle a workplace hazard as far-reaching as the coronavirus pandemic, they write:

  • "The Wall Street Journal identified more than 1,000 worker deaths from Covid-19 that circumstances suggest were linked to workplace transmission of the virus but that were never investigated by an OSHA agency, as of early February."

The big picture: The workplace safety crisis is far from over.

  • Nearly 30% of workers still do not feel safe from contracting the virus at work, according to a new survey conducted by JUST Capital and Harris Poll, shared exclusively with Axios.
  • Part of the reason is that Americans are continuing to go to work even when they don't feel well because they don't want to lose their jobs in the middle of a recession.
    • 20% of workers reported going to work when sick in the last year. And 67% of them said it was because their employers did not provide sick leave and they did not want to get fired.

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders: U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Stefani Reynolds via Getty Images

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

3 hours ago - Technology

Exclusive: Uber makes new hire, launches anti-racism campaigns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios was first to report.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.

Ex-Gaetz associate admits to sex trafficking, will cooperate with federal prosecutors

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl) speaks during the "Save America Summit" at the Trump National Doral golf resort on April 09, 2021 in Doral, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Staff via Getty Images

Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and admitted to a variety of federal charges including sex trafficking a minor, the New York Times reported Friday citing court papers.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Greenberg introduced women to Gaetz for paid sex and are looking into the Florida congressman's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.