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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine September 25, 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.
€ 6,18(Incl. btw)
€ 79,52(Incl. btw)
48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

It’s been six months since Zach got Covid, and he hasn’t yet recovered. Zach—a previously fit, healthy 33-year-old attorney who’s the son of two good friends—was never admitted to a hospital, because of an acute shortage of ICU beds. But over two months of coronavirus hell, he developed pneumonia, struggled for breath, coughed constantly, shivered under three blankets, and barely slept or ate. His chest felt like it was on fire. “There wasn’t an inch of my body (truly) that wasn’t in excruciating pain,” he recounted in a Facebook post last week. Despite sophisticated medical care and an endless battery of tests, his chest still aches, he’s breathless after a short walk, and he’s too weak to work. Zach is one of a largely invisible legion of “long-haulers”—Covid survivors who…

5 min.
trump: i didn’t ‘want to create a panic’

What happened President Trump admitted last week he deliberately “downplayed” the threat of the coronavirus as a new book and taped comments revealed that he understood as far back as February the devastation the pandemic could unleash in the U.S. In a series of interviews with journalist Bob Woodward for the newly released book Rage, Trump made repeated statements at odds with his public reassurances and his administration’s failure to mobilize against the exponential explosion in U.S. infections. “This is deadly stuff,” Trump said on Feb. 7. He called the virus “a killer” that’s “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” countering his public reassurances that the virus was no worse than the seasonal flu—for which “we’ve never closed down the country”—and would “miraculously” disappear. In April, Trump told Woodward that…

3 min.
wildfires ravage the west coast

What happened Apocalyptic wildfires ripped through California, Oregon, and Washington this week, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to evacuate as the infernos turned skies blood-red across the West. At least 35 people have died and dozens more are missing in blazes that have so far scorched more than 5 million acres; California firefighters are now battling six of the 20 worst fires in the state’s history. Billowing clouds of toxic smoke forced flights to be canceled and schools to be shuttered, and authorities from Los Angeles to Seattle urged residents to stay indoors to avoid breathing some of the planet’s most polluted air. Scenes of devastation littered the Pacific Northwest. The small Oregon towns of Phoenix and Talent, home to 11,000 people combined, were reduced to ashes. “There’s nothing to…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Brazilian surfer Maya Gabeira set a new world record last week, notching a big win in a heavily male sport. After video analysis, the World Surf League announced that earlier this year she caught a wave with a height of 73.5 feet, beating the men’s winner and her own previous record. “Our sport is very male-dominated,” said Gabeira, so “to conclude that a woman did surf the biggest, tallest wave of the year is quite phenomenal. It opens the idea that in other categories and other areas of surfing, this could be accomplished, too.” An extraordinary friendship has developed at a farm sanctuary in New Jersey. Merlin, a duck with a leg injury that prevents him from walking, was sunbathing on the grass when friendly 7-month-old lamb Gigi curled up next…

3 min.
trump: does he have contempt for american troops?

The courage it takes to fight and die for your country is hard for many civilians to comprehend, said Max Boot in The Washington Post. President Trump marvels at it, too, apparently—just “not in a complimentary way.” A recent bombshell story in The Atlantic reports that Trump has repeatedly startled aides by describing U.S. troops who have died for their country as “suckers” and “losers.” During an Armistice Day memorial in France in 2018, the White House publicly blamed poor flying conditions for his skipping a ceremony at a cemetery filled with American soldiers. In private, multiple sources say, Trump was worried the wind and rain would leave his hair disheveled in front of cameras, and asked why he should visit a cemetery “filled with losers.” Trump once accompanied then–Secretary…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Disarming, after a Florida man bought a musket used in the Civil War in an online auction and found that the weapon was loaded. “It could’ve gone off and killed somebody,” said John Pisano, “and I guess that person would’ve been a victim of the Civil War.” Audiophiles, with the news that vinyl records outsold compact discs in the first half of 2020 for the first time since the 1980s. Overall, vinyl sales are up more than 4 percent over 2019, while revenue from CDs plunged by 48 percent. Narcissism, after Madonna announced she was co-writing and directing a new biopic on her own “roller-coaster” life. “Who better to tell it than me?” she said. Bad week for: Humans, after TheGuardian.com published an unsettling essay written by GPT-3, a language-generating artificial intelligence…