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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine March 20, 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

3 min.
editor’s letter

As this magazine goes to press, the U.S. has passed its 1,000th officially tallied case of coronavirus infection. “Officially tallied” because it is very likely that there are far more cases that have not been counted. The total number of Americans tested by the beginning of this week stood at about 4,300. Are we even sure of that number? We are not, though it’s the best estimate that an excellent investigation in The Atlantic could get to. The reality is that we just don’t know. Some states have not released the number of tests they’ve done. The federal government has “walked back” (that’s the polite term) the claim that anybody who wants a test can get one. In about 1,000 cases, the U.S. has registered 30 deaths. Germany, meanwhile, has…

5 min.
coronavirus cases and deaths spike across u.s.

What happened President Trump appeared to undermine federal efforts to contain the new coronavirus this week, insisting that the pandemic will “go away” even as cases of the respiratory illness skyrocketed across the U.S., spooking markets and sparking fears of a recession. By the middle of the week, health officials had reported more than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus in 38 states and the District of Columbia, and at least 30 deaths. To stem the spread of the virus, known as Covid-19, universities across the country scrapped in-person classes; major events such as the South by Southwest festival were canceled; and companies began mandating that employees work from home. (See Making Money.) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of schools and gathering places in New Rochelle—a New York City…

3 min.
biden advances with decisive victories

What happened Riding momentum from his Super Tuesday comeback, Joe Biden all but clinched the Democratic nomination this week, racking up commanding wins over Sen. Bernie Sanders in four out of six states. Biden won handily in Missouri, Idaho, Mississippi, and most notably Michigan, a closely watched state where Sanders scored an upset over Hillary Clinton in 2016 but lost this time in a landslide. Washington, long seen as a Sanders-friendly state, was too close to call as The Week went to press; Sanders scored a clear victory only in North Dakota. The former vice president built a broad coalition, faring well with African-Americans, working-class whites, and college-educated and suburban voters. As contests loom in highly favorable states such as Florida and Georgia, Biden’s 864-710 delegate lead seems near insurmountable, a…

2 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A retired British teacher has been named the oldest man in the world at the age of 111. Bob Weighton took the title when its previous holder died last month in Japan. The secret to his longevity, Weighton said, has been “to avoid dying.” Born in northern England in 1908, Weighton taught English in Taiwan and decoded Japanese military communications during World War II. A few years ago, he asked to stop receiving birthday cards from Queen Elizabeth II—the monarch sends cards to all British centenarians—because he didn’t want “a huge collection” in his apartment. A University of Akron student has made good on the promise he made to his sister five years ago—by bringing a llama to her wedding. During a 2015 road trip, then 16-year-old Mendl Weinstock grew irked…

2 min.
warren: did sexism doom her campaign?

“Maybe next time, ladies,” said Michelle Cottle in The New York Times. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren suspended her presidential campaign last week, it formalized the collapse of “the most diverse presidential field in history” to a pair of 70-something white men, and delivered a depressing reminder of “the challenges women candidates still confront in their quest to shatter the presidential glass ceiling.” By any measure, the eloquent and passionate Warren dominated the Democratic debates. Her policy proposals put her rivals’ to shame, both in number and in detail. Most valuably, she had an Obama-like gift for translating complex problems into clear moral choices that could electrify a crowd. Inevitably, she was dismissed as too “shrill,” “strident,” and “hectoring,” even as many voters fell back on the familiar protestation “Of course,…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Castelvetro, Italy, where for three hours red wine flowed from domestic faucets, following a malfunction at a local winery. “At a time where we have very little to smile about, I’m glad we brought some levity to others,” said Deputy Mayor Giorgia Mezzacqui, whose town is near the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak. Automation, with the news that the Lehigh, Pa., YMCA is installing a robot lifeguard at its swimming pool that uses artificial intelligence to detect if a swimmer is at risk of drowning. The device issues a high-pitched alert if it “sees” someone in trouble. Legacy media, after the Australian newspaper NT News printed a special edition with eight blank pages for use as toilet paper, currently in short supply due to coronavirus-inspired hoarding. Bad week for: Contrition, after former…