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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine May 15, 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

Last month, in The Last Word, we ran an article about the race to save James Cai, one of the first people in the New York area known to be infected with the coronavirus. Careful readers of the magazine may have noticed something unusual about the story: Nowhere in it did we include Cai’s photo. Not having a photo isn’t a deal breaker for a magazine, but generally in a feature of that kind, readers want to know what the main subject looks like. The reason we didn’t in this case was a sad one. After the first articles about his recovery appeared, Cai was hit with death threats and racists insults. “Chinese-Americans are targeted,” he texted me. Cai, an immigrant from China, had promised his family that he would…

5 min.
coronavirus cases grow as states reopen

What happened A growing number of states eased their way out of lockdowns this week, despite their failure to meet federal benchmarks, as new infections and deaths continued to rise throughout the nation. The partial re-openings were cheered by President Trump, even as a draft government report predicted ending lockdowns would nearly double current fatality rates, hitting 3,000 deaths per day on June 1. While new infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are declining in New York City, the virus’ spread continued in much of the country, including many small towns and rural counties, where Covid-19 has burned through prisons, meatpacking plants, and nursing homes, and workers took the virus home. The U.S. hit its highest one-day death tally last Friday, at 2,909—the same day Texas allowed barbershops and hair, nail, and tanning…

3 min.
trump’s plan to blame china

What happened The Trump administration ratcheted up its efforts to blame China for the pandemic this week, making unsubstantiated claims that the coronavirus originated in a government laboratory in Wuhan. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was “enormous evidence” the outbreak began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology—where scientists were studying bat coronaviruses with the potential for human transmission—and accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of covering up the initial cases. He offered no proof to support the lab claim, which Chinese state TV called “a complete and utter lie.” In an interview with Fox News, Trump said he had a high degree of confidence that a lab accident was the source of the outbreak. “I think [China] made a horrible mistake,” he said, “and they didn’t want to admit it.”…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Angelina Friedman has survived a lot during her 101 years, including cancer, sepsis, and now two pandemics. She was born on a ship carrying immigrants from Italy to New York City in 1918, at the height of the Spanish flu pandemic. Friedman emerged unscathed from that outbreak, but this March tested positive for Covid-19 and spent weeks battling fevers while in isolation at her New York nursing home. By April 20 she had beaten the disease—and was eager to resume her knitting. “She has superhuman DNA,” said daughter Joanne Merola. A Washington, D.C., neighborhood threw a wedding to remember for two residents amid the lockdown. Amanda Mason and Aaron Meyers were sure they’d have to cancel their April 25 ceremony because of the pandemic, but their neighbors persuaded them to go…

3 min.
biden: are reade’s allegations credible?

We may never know if Joe Biden sexually assaulted former staffer Tara Reade in 1993, said Elizabeth Bruenig in The New York Times. But we can now say, “with firm conviction,” that Democrats should “consider a Plan B” for their presidential nominee. Until last week, Biden supporters were dismissing Reade’s allegation as uncorroborated and coming from a Bernie Sanders supporter with a history of strange behavior, including using several aliases. But a former neighbor of Reade’s has gone on the record to say Reade told them of Biden’s assault in the mid-1990s, and video surfaced of Reade’s late mother anonymously calling Larry King Live in 1993 for advice on her daughter’s “problems” with a “prominent senator.” In an extensive interview on MSNBC, Biden said “unequivocally” that the assault “never happened.”…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Excuses, after a Utah Highway Patrol cop pulled over what he thought was an impaired motorist and found a 5-year-old boy behind the wheel. The boy explained that his mother had refused to buy him a Lamborghini, so he was driving to California to get one himself. Defying stereotypes, after a cat jumped on a sleeping Canadian couple and alerted them to smoke pouring from the slow cooker in the kitchen. Scott White noted that his other pet, a supposed guard dog, slept soundly as the kitchen fire threatened to go out of control. “The real hero is the cat,” he said. Fear, after FBI figures showed 2,911,128 background checks for gun purchases in April, the most in any April since background checks were instituted in 1998. Bad week for: Meaningful soundtracks,…