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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine November 27, 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 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

Jodi Doering, an emergency room nurse at a South Dakota hospital, is a daily witness to just how sick our country has become. People severely ill with Covid-19 are flooding her hospital, suffering also from an extreme case of cognitive dissonance: They’d been told the pandemic was a concoction of the fake news media. “They tell you there must be another reason they are sick,” an exhausted Doering recounted on Twitter this week. Even while gasping for breath, she says, the patients insist “they don’t have Covid because it’s not real.” The delusional talk only stops when these patients get intubated or die. “It’s like a f---ing horror movie that never ends,” Doering says. This horror movie is now playing in hospitals in large swathes of the U.S., most frequently in…

5 min.
crying fraud, trump blocks a biden transition

What happened President Trump continued to insist this week that he’d been cheated of victory in the presidential election, even as his campaign’s lawsuits alleging voting improprieties were repeatedly dropped or rejected. His aides acknowledged privately that he had no chance of prevailing. “He knows it’s over,” said one. After North Carolina and Georgia were called, Joe Biden emerged with a decisive Electoral College win, with 306 votes to Trump’s 232, and a popular vote lead of more than 5.5 million. But Trump’s administration continued to freeze out Biden’s transition team, and most Republican lawmakers joined Trump in refusing to acknowledge Biden’s win. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, told The Washington Post that Sen. Lindsey Graham had suggested he throw out all mail ballots in counties with high rates…

2 min.
covid surge overwhelms hospitals across america…

What happened Covid-19 case counts and hospitalizations exploded across the country this week, as governors imposed new restrictions and the White House coronavirus task force warned of “aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread.” In Chicago, officials issued a stay-at-home advisory, and Philadelphia banned most private indoor gatherings. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set off a firestorm by canceling all in-person learning at high schools and colleges for three weeks as well as shuttering casinos and movie theaters. Yet a new Reuters poll found that almost 40 percent of Americans intend to gather with 10 or more people for Thanksgiving, despite a national average of 156,000 new infections a day over the past week. The death toll hit more than 1,700 on a single day, and hospitalizations reached new highs at more…

2 min.
…as new vaccine breakthroughs offer hope

What happened Two U.S. drug firms announced this week that their experimental Covid-19 vaccines appear to be roughly 95 percent effective in preventing sickness, fueling optimism that millions of Americans could receive shots by the end of this year. Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, delivered the first complete set of results from a late-stage vaccine trial, reporting that of the study’s nearly 44,000 participants, 170 became infected with Covid-19. Only eight of those cases were in volunteers who received the vaccine; the rest were in participants that got a placebo. Pfizer said it will apply to the FDA for emergency authorization “within days.” Biotech firm Moderna, meanwhile, said 95 people in its ongoing 30,000-person trial developed Covid-19 with symptoms; only five of those had received Moderna’s vaccine. That indicates an…

3 min.
president biden: what can he accomplish?

“Now comes the unimaginably hard part,” said Jonathan Allen in NBCNews.com. When President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is sworn in on Jan. 20, 2021, he will inherit a raging pandemic, a badly damaged economy with high unemployment, and “an angry and polarized nation.” Worse, unless Democrats can pull off two upset wins in Georgia’s Senate runoffs, Biden will tackle these crises as the first president since George H.W. Bush to take office without his party controlling Congress. Remember the “political dysfunction and economically painful austerity” of Obama’s last six years in office? said Jordan Weissmann in Slate.com. “Now imagine a repeat of all that, but with more death.” If he remains the majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell will try to thwart the entirety of the Democratic president’s agenda, starting with…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Second chances, after a hiker whose heart stopped for 45 minutes after being rescued from a blizzard on Washington’s Mount Rainier was brought back to life by doctors. “I’m still just shocked and amazed,” said Michael Knapinski, 45. Trump campaign staff, with the merciful shuttering of the campaign’s ill-fated Voter Fraud Hotline. The hotline was inundated by prank calls, including many consisting of loud farting noises. “It’s misery,” said one staffer of working in “the room from hell.” Sibling rivalry, after an 18-year-old Taiwanese man emerged from a coma after 62 days when his older brother threatened that if he didn’t wake up “I’m going to eat your favorite chicken fillet.” Bad week for: Massive fraud!, after officials overseeing New Zealand’s Bird of the Year vote discovered that 1,500 votes had been…