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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine October 16, 2020

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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.
$8.86(Incl. tax)
$114.09(Incl. tax)
48 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

Long before Covid, Americans had reason to fear getting sick. Virtually everyone has experienced the manifold problems of this country’s health-care system, which routinely makes it too difficult and too expensive to get treatment. This is a major reason so many Americans turn to alternative medicine and miracle cures, or are reluctant to even admit they are ill. As family and social bonds have thinned, and sickness has become associated increasingly with financial insecurity, the pressure to deny sickness and aging has grown. For many Americans, to be sick is to be cast out. In responding to the coronavirus, President Trump has shared and even promoted that attitude: Losers get sick, I am not a loser, therefore I am not ill, and will not fall ill. Last week, this denialism…

5 min.
covid comes to the white house

What happened President Trump returned to the White House from three days of intensive treatment for Covid-19 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this week, with a message that Americans shouldn’t fear the coronavirus or let it “dominate your lives.” Trump set the nation on high alert when he announced last Friday that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for the coronavirus, amid a major outbreak involving at least two dozen of the president’s circle of aides and associates. Among those who got Covid were campaign chair Bill Stepien, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, aide Hope Hicks, adviser Stephen Miller, GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, debate prepper Chris Christie, and former spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway. Most had attended a possible superspreader event at the White House on Sept. 26 to announce the…

2 min.
trump ends talks on new federal aid package

What happened President Trump abruptly killed negotiations on a new round of economic stimulus this week, even as almost 12 million people continued to draw unemployment benefits and the Federal Reserve warned of “a weak recovery” and “unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.” Accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of “playing games,” Trump tweeted that he had instructed Republicans “to stop negotiating until after the election.” Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been hashing out a potential deal for a major package of federal aid. Though the two were still far apart on the total commitment—Democrats have passed a $2.2 trillion package, and Mnuchin was pushing for a smaller one with less aid for the unemployed and state governments—both had expressed some optimism that they could reach an agreement. Trump sent his…

2 min.
biden races ahead in presidential polls

What happened With President Trump and numerous top campaign aides sidelined by Covid-19, Democratic nominee Joe Biden this week leaped to his widest lead in national polls since late July. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showed Biden up 14 points nationally among registered voters (53 percent to 39 percent) and found that last week’s chaotic, insult-filled presidential debate had boosted the former vice president. Voters’ preference for Biden increased 6 percentage points over a survey conducted ahead of the debate. Polls by CNN and the Republican-leaning Rasmussen showed Biden up 16 and 12 percentage points, respectively. Trump appears unlikely to get a sympathy bump following his Covid-19 diagnosis. Two-thirds of respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Trump wouldn’t have been infected if he had taken the virus more seriously. Biden tried…

3 min.
supreme court: should democrats play ‘constitutional hardball’?

“It was only a matter of time, really,” said Elaine Godfrey in TheAtlantic.com. Ever since Senate Republicans blocked President Obama’s last nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016, progressive activists have been urging Democrats to add seats to the court and pack it “full of liberal justices.” With Mitch McConnell now rushing to ram through a confirmation of nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the election, giving conservatives a dominant 6-3 majority, even mainstream Democrats are clamoring to expand the court by four or even six members if the party wins control of the Senate and the White House. Why not? said Josh Blackman in Reason.com. The Republicans’ justification for “stealing two seats” on the court is simply that they had the votes to do so, so why should an incoming…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: German words, after dictionary site Merriam-Webster.com reported a 30,500 percent surge in searches for the German-derived word “schadenfreude” the day that President Trump tested positive for coronavirus. Merriam-Webster defines “schadenfreude” as “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” New Age publishing, with the release of the U.S. Army’s new “Holistic Health and Fitness” training manual. It recommends journaling, meditation, and “short, infrequent naps to restore wakefulness,” and notes that military service can help soldiers appreciate the “interconnectedness of all things and people.” Trolling, after LGBTQ activists posted images on social media of gay men kissing, with the hashtag #proudboys. The Proud Boys’ leader said it was an attempt to turn the group’s name into “a slur.” Bad week for: The NFL, after 22 players and staff on the Tennessee Titans and three…