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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine March 13, 2020

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
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48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

Afghanistan in 2020 is starting to look a lot like Vietnam in 1973. That year, with no input from South Vietnam’s pro-U.S. government, President Richard Nixon signed a deal with North Vietnam to speed America’s exit from a deeply unpopular “forever war.” The Trump administration struck a similar accord with the Afghan Taliban this week, also with minimal buy-in from our local allies. (See Talking Points.) In return for vague Taliban promises to shun al Qaida and talk power sharing with the government in Kabul, the U.S. will withdraw its 12,000 troops over the next 14 months. History tells us what’s likely to happen next. Two years after Nixon inked his accord, the North Vietnamese overran Saigon and sent hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese to re-education camps. Should the…

5 min.
biden’s historic comeback transforms race

What happened In a stunning turnaround, Joe Biden catapulted to the front of the Democratic presidential race this week with a powerhouse Super Tuesday showing that effectively narrowed the primary to a two-person race between the moderate former vice president and democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders. It was an extraordinary comeback for a candidate who’d stumbled in early debates and performed poorly in the first three primaries and caucuses. Biden’s campaign was revived after African-American and suburban voters gave him an unexpectedly decisive win in Saturday’s South Carolina primary. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg both then dropped out and endorsed Biden, and their backing made Biden the clear choice for moderate Democrats panicking at the thought of putting the far-left Sanders up against President Trump. On Super Tuesday, Biden won…

3 min.
u.s. coronavirus cases mounting

What happened The U.S. braced for a surge in the number of new coronavirus infections this week, with reported cases now spanning at least 16 states, including an outbreak at a Washington state nursing home and cases in New York City and Los Angeles. In all, health officials reported 153 American cases and 11 deaths (eight linked to the Seattle-area nursing home). Los Angeles declared a state of emergency and warned of potential school closures. The World Health Organization said the respiratory illness, or Covid-19, had infected 92,000-plus people and killed 3,200 in more than 70 countries. The mortality rate (3.4 percent) in reported cases was higher than in early estimates, though experts say less serious cases may not have been caught by testing. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National…

2 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Harold Storelee, 88, prides himself on his manicured lawn. But while mowing the grass last week, the Washington state resident fell and broke his hip. An ambulance raced to the scene and three EMTs took Storelee to the hospital. After a hectic day responding to car accidents and other emergencies, the medics clocked off at 5 p.m. But rather than go home, the trio went to Storelee’s house and spent an hour finishing tidying the yard. “We knew he’d be down for a while,” said EMT Alexander Trautman. “The least we could do was go back and help out.” Two years ago, Finn Lanning was stunned to hear that one of his middle-school math students wouldn’t be returning to school. Damien, then 12, had an autoimmune disease that was causing his…

3 min.
covid-19: is trump up to the challenge?

President Trump survived impeachment and the Mueller investigation, and has “waved away dozens of lesser scandals as though they were nothing more than gnats,” said Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes in TheAtlantic.com. In the rapidly spreading coronavirus, though, he “faces a challenge unlike any he has confronted before”—one that he can’t fix with his “usual tool kit” of bullying, lies, and claims of a “witch hunt.” As the deadly virus started to spread within our borders, Trump repeatedly made it clear he views the epidemic in purely political and selfish terms, as a threat to the stock market and his re-election. Virtually every day, the president and his aides have used public statements to praise the “incredible job” they are doing, to minimize the threat, and to blame Democrats for…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Woke epidemiology, after the World Health Organization urged against saying that people are “transmitting Covid-19,” “infecting others,” or “spreading the virus,” because that wording “assigns blame.” Instead, we should refer to people “acquiring” the virus. American Samoa, whose profile was briefly raised when Mike Bloomberg won the South Pacific island chain’s caucuses with 175 total votes. It was the only jurisdiction Bloomberg won after he spent $500 million on his campaign. Computer literacy, after Fox News anchor Brit Hume tweeted out a screenshot of his computer, forgetting to close a browser tab on which the 76-year-old had evidently been researching a “Sexy Vixen” set of vinyl lingerie, retailing for a hard-to-resist $15.37. Bad week for: Eco-anxiety, with a new BBC survey of 8- to 16-year-olds showing that 73 percent are worried about…