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News & Politics
The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine December 4, 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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Week Publications, Inc.
Frequency:
Weekly
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48 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

I have never seen two children so happy to go to school. When in-person teaching resumed in New York City in early October, my 5- and 7-year-old skipped, ran, and bounced the four blocks to their elementary school. There were none of the usual morning complaints (“My bag is too heavy!” “I don’t wanna do computer class!”). They were simply delighted that, after nearly seven months of being stuck at home and enduring endless glitch-plagued Zoom lessons (see Technology), they were finally going to be back in a real classroom with other kids. Incredibly, their good mood kept up over the following weeks. My son and daughter didn’t moan about having to wear face masks in class all day or the social-distancing rules that meant they couldn’t sit at a…

5 min.
trump’s failed attempt to overturn the election

What happened The transition to a Joe Biden administration officially began this week, after President Trump failed in his efforts to overturn election results in six states with empty claims of massive fraud. Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, bowed to weeks of pressure and signed the paperwork greenlighting the transition, a decision that came hours after Michigan certified Biden’s win in the state. Trump, who groundlessly claimed widespread voter fraud in Detroit, had attempted to delay the certification, and met with Michigan’s top GOP lawmakers in an unsuccessful bid to sway them to overturn Biden’s win and appoint Trump electors. Pressure mounted on Trump as more than 160 business leaders, 100 Republican national security experts, and at least three GOP senators urged him to concede, calling his…

3 min.
hospitals buckle under a wave of covid cases

What happened Hospitals across the U.S. warned they were facing critical shortages of staff and beds this week, as record numbers of Covid-19 patients began to overwhelm intensive care units and exhausted health-care workers braced for a post-Thanksgiving surge of cases. The total number of Americans in hospitals with the virus has hit new highs every day since Nov. 11, when hospitalizations first topped the April peak. More than 85,000 people are now hospitalized with the disease; about 180,000 new infections and 1,000 Covid deaths are being reported every day. In Utah, where ICUs are at 87 percent of capacity, officials warned they might soon have to ration care; in parts of Minnesota, open ICU beds were down to single digits; and in El Paso, Texas, the military deployed medics to…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

Ariel Cordova-Rojas was relaxing at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens, New York, when she spotted a swan in distress, alone and clearly sick. Cordova-Rojas, who had worked as an animal rescuer, knew the bird needed help. She wrapped the swan in her jacket and walked a mile with its 17-pound weight before a stranger offered a ride to the subway. The odd couple boarded the train, where in true New York fashion no one batted an eyelash, and a friend met them at the other end. They made it to a Manhattan clinic and the swan, nicknamed Bae, is recovering well. Chris Nikic did not walk until he was 4 years old, but this month he became an Ironman. The 21-year-old and his father developed the “1 percent better challenge”…

3 min.
schools: should they be open amid the pandemic?

“Some things are true even though President Trump says them,” said Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. This summer, as Covid surged across the country, liberals reflexively opposed Trump’s demand that states reopen the nation’s schools for in-person learning. But in hindsight, Trump’s supposedly “reckless” approach looks “largely right.” Remote learning has proved to be a dismal substitute for in-school education and a true “catastrophe for many low-income children” who lack the technology and/or family support to learn effectively at home. The long-term damage to their education may be life-altering; a McKinsey study estimates the closures could lead to 1 million additional high school dropouts. Meanwhile, roughly half the country did fully reopen schools this fall, without the devastating rise in infections some experts had predicted. In New York…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Discrimination, after Manhattan’s upscale City Winery an-nounced it will require diners to take, and pay for, a $50 rapid coronavirus test before being allowed inside. “Given the change of the seasons, finding the next level of safety and comfort level for people to dine indoors is critical for us today,” said CEO Michael Dorf. Quiet reflection, with a Washington Post analysis showing that President Trump spoke only 8,143 words in public in the 18 days following his defeat in the election. Trump’s pre-election average for 2020 was 8,398 words per day. Bragging rights, after Barack Obama’s A Promised Land sold nearly 890,000 copies in its first 24 hours on sale, putting it on track to be the best-selling presidential memoir in modern history. Wife Michelle’s Becoming sold 725,000 copies on…