Mary Trump's publisher claims no knowledge of NDA after judge's halt order; says tell-all has shipped

The publisher of a “tell-all” book by a niece of President Trump said it might be unable to prevent her book from becoming public -- adding it was unaware of any non-disclosure agreement that would prevent the book from being published -- after a judge ordered a temporary halt on its release, according to reports.
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A private island off the coast of Ireland just sold for $6 million. The buyer only saw it in a video tour
A private island off the coast of Ireland boasting three beaches, seven houses and natural wildlife has been sold for more than $6.3 million -- with the anonymous buyer not even visiting the location in person before going through with the purchase.
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Getting kids to connect across racial — and geographic — lines
Much of the talk about structural racism has begun to focus on how implicit bias impacts kids. Parents have to start early if they're to cultivate a generation rooted in empathy and fairness. These nonprofits are working to "connect children across lines of difference."
Man killed, five others hurt in yet another NYC shooting
One person was killed and five others injured early Wednesday when at least two gunmen opened fire outside a Brooklyn apartment building, cops said. The violence erupted at around 2:10 a.m. in front of the building on President Street near Franklin Avenue, about a block away from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Crown Heights, cops...
Kristen Doute learned about ‘Vanderpump’ firing minutes before news broke
Kristen Doute is finally opening up about her unexpected firing from "Vanderpump Rules."
Daniel Turner: Biden’s harmful radical energy plan panders to AOC and other far-left extremists for votes
Former Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a confusing and impractical $2 trillion plan to combat climate change Tuesday that would harm our economy, destroy more jobs than it would create, and offer little if any environmental benefits in a world where China and other nations keep increasing carbon dioxide emissions.
222 L.A. tech companies pledged to improve on diversity. Have they made any progress?
A new report from PledgeLA shows local venture capital firms invest in women, Black and Latino start-up founders at double the rate of the industry at large.
D.C. United surveys fans about matches at Audi Field as MLS aims a return to home markets
The soccer league is aiming to continue its campaign after the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando.
From Peacock to HBO Max, here’s what every major streaming service can offer you
The NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock, launched Wednesday, enters a very crowded field.
Has Israel been sabotaging Iran? Here’s what we know.
Four reasons Israel might be waging its shadow war more overtly -- which could backfire.
This is what national decline looks like
2020 will decide whether we continue on our unserious trajectory.
America’s Health Crisis Is Becoming a Housing Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic is a historical accelerant. It has compressed 10 years of online-shopping growth into a few months, bankrupted chains that were in steady decline, hastened Democratic gains in the Sun Belt, sped up an urban exodus from America’s most expensive cities, and persuaded my grandmother to finally use Instacart. All of this was bound to happen eventually. The coronavirus just mashed its big fat thumb on the fast-forward button.And now a housing problem years in the making is dangerously close to spiraling out of control.Before the pandemic, half of U.S renters spent 30 percent of their income on housing. The poorest quintile of Americans spent more than half their income on rent, on average. Even in a healthy economy, housing costs were eating workers’ wages.Then the plague hit, and low-income workers were hit hardest. With the face-to-face economy shut down, the retail and leisure industries shed tens of millions of jobs in a matter of weeks. An analysis by the NYU Furman Center found that in New York City, the households most likely to face an “economic disruption”—including losing a job, or having hours cut back—spent the highest share of their income on housing.[Annie Lowrey: Cancel rent]Without intervention, the COVID-19-induced economic crisis is in danger of becoming a housing crisis. Data on rent payments are hard to come by, but one survey has found that a third of Americans say they failed to make a full housing payment in June. By September, more than 20 million renters will be at risk of eviction, especially as eviction moratoriums come to an end. Without income, renters can't pay rent and utilities. Without monthly payments, landlords and other companies can’t make mortgages and bond payments.Perhaps this is all starting to sound like a redux of the mid-2000s housing crisis. It’s not. The Great Recession was driven in large part by declining standards in mortgage underwriting. When the bubble burst, foreclosures soared, homes stood empty, housing prices fell, homeownership rates fell, and more people rented in dense cities.The 2020 housing market is the opposite, in almost every way. Demand for downtown apartments is deteriorating. Sales of newly built homes rose faster in June than any month since 2005. Watchdogs perceive no trouble in underwriting. Rather than too many houses, the hot market is defined by a historic undersupply of single-family and multifamily houses, thanks to a decade of insufficient building and, now, the shutdown of new construction in much of the country.Still, one thing unites the crises of 2020 and 2008: the urgent need for intervention by the U.S government. The current housing crisis could get messy quickly, but fixing it shouldn’t be complicated. It will just take something that, unlike public-health competence, the federal government has in nearly infinite supply: money.In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, which distributed a onetime stimulus check to tens of millions of households, expanded unemployment benefits by $600 a week (and made them available to self-employed and gig workers), and authorized the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars to companies to keep them from laying off their workers. Meanwhile, dozens of cities and states passed moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. Hurried and patchy as these programs might seem, they’ve largely worked to keep people in their homes. They need to be extended imminently, or a terrible economy will get far worse.[Read: The pandemic will cleave America in two]“There are two things we need to do right now,” says Bill McBride, an economic writer at the blog Calculated Risk. “First, we need to keep doing CARES Acts until this is over. If we run the debt up $10 trillion, it will be money saved. Second, we’ve got to get a grip on the pandemic, and that probably means shutting every indoor business down for a few months again and moving as much outdoors as we can.”Pandemics are complicated, but pandemic economics is simple. Get families cash, or people will go hungry and lose their home. Get companies cash, or firms will fire their workers and disappear from their communities. Stop the pandemic, or else suffering and devastation will continue no matter how much cash we spend. The United States has been terrible at following the third rule. But in the next few weeks, Congress has a chance to do what it does best—appropriate money. If it doesn’t, we will all accelerate into a world nobody wants to live in.
Country Musicians Can’t ‘Shut Up and Sing’ Anymore
The No. 1 song on country radio at the moment is about the joy of tequila, Jimmy Buffet, and crowds. “One Margarita,” by the 43-year-old Georgia-born superstar Luke Bryan, gives a detailed plan for losing one’s faculties to lime-flavored frozen cocktails guzzled with friends. In the music video, crowds wearing sombreros gather with beach balls on some nice sandy shore as Bryan presides in board shorts. Unavoidably, some viewers will be reminded of the infamous Lake of the Ozarks splashathon, or of kids who spent spring break in Florida when much of the country was hunkered down with sourdough starter.But “One Margarita,” released in March, is a pre-COVID-19 recording. And at this phase of our interminable crisis, images like the ones in Bryan’s video fill me with nostalgia rather than revulsion. Sipping a homemade marg on my couch for the 17th week in a row, I just want to be at that big cheesy beach party. I just want normal.Perhaps such cravings for the regular ol’ times explain why country music, replete with visions of barbecues and backwoods, has thrived during our stay-indoors spring and summer. Ever since America’s shutdown began, almost all styles of music have lost streaming listenership. Country’s popularity, on the other hand, has risen: The genre has averaged 11.1 percent more plays since mid-March. There are multiple theories for why this is, but what seems true in any case is that country’s love for a feeling of normalcy is alluring. As a slew of recent scandals and scuffles have demonstrated, however, not even Nashville can maintain the status quo anymore.While pop tends to envision one big night where you transcend your boring condition, and hip-hop often touts material success turning an ordinary life into an extraordinary one, country fetishizes the day-after-day realities of homes, highways, and beer halls. There are exceptions, but typically it’s a genre in which work and family and place all are held up as things that must be defended. You can hear the fierce attachment to the familiar, for example, in the new single “More Than My Hometown,” from the hitmaker Morgan Wallen. The Tennessee singer describes a storybook romance with some woman, but when she wants to move to the city, he bids her farewell, explaining, “I can't love you more than my hometown.”How does a genre in love with routine respond to a moment in which everyone’s lives have been disrupted? One way is by pretending everything is fine—with the psychological escape provided by a song like “One Margarita,” but also perhaps in more concrete ways. It feels telling that the rural-ish and red-voting areas like Georgia and Texas where country music thrives have in many cases been slow to implement shutdowns and quick to reopen. Even as infections have spiked in such places, control measures such as mask-wearing have proved especially controversial. The country-music industry, to be clear, has largely supported pandemic-containment measures, and most of its large events have been canceled. But the genre’s also been home to artists and fans insisting that, one way or another, the show should go on, shutdown be damned.In May, the singer Travis McCready played the nation’s first socially distanced concert at a theater in Arkansas in which fans sat spaced apart. The performance could be a model for concerts in the pandemic age, but as one TV reporter put it when surveying footage of fans in masks quietly watching McCready, “Boy, it sure looks like a library.” Two months later, more boisterous and controversial country concerts were held: The singers Chase Rice and Chris Janson each played to close-packed, predominantly maskless crowds in Tennessee and Idaho, respectively. Both men bragged about the shows on social media, and both had previously recorded songs criticizing pandemic-containment efforts. Rice’s lyrics on Instagram in March went like this: “Dear corona, you don’t know the heart of a country fan … We’re gonna show up, hold our drinks high, sing them songs about trucks and beer.” Janson had sung in April, “We weren’t made to stay inside / I can’t watch my country die.”Rice’s and Janson's social-distance-flouting concerts triggered widespread condemnation, including from many prominent country-music figures. “Imagine being selfish enough to put thousands of people’s health at risk, not to mention the potential ripple effect, and play a NORMAL country concert right now,” the star Kelsea Ballerini tweeted. But Rice and Janson had their prominent defenders too—or at least people who wanted to quiet down the backlash. “It’s amazing how many country artists, songwriters, and media outlets are quick to throw shade at our own people,” the singer Jake Owen said in a tweet. “Sad, really.”Owen is right, in a way, to be amazed that country stars would call out their peers. This is a genre that, famously, maintains its status quo through codes of silence and avoiding controversy. Dolly Parton, for all of her seemingly progressive and feminist lyrics, won’t say whom she’s voted for. Neither will Toby Keith, despite having played Donald Trump’s inauguration. And after the worst mass shooting in modern history took place at a Jason Aldean concert, Aldean has mostly stayed mum about his views on gun control. The saga of the band formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, whose country career never recovered after an on-stage diss of then-President George W. Bush in 2003, is legendary. (Meanwhile, the titans of other popular genres thrive on the attention garnered from weighing in on tricky debates or feuding with other celebs.) But in 2020, polite quietude on the issues of the day—and on the behavior of one’s peers—has become harder for country stars to maintain.That’s not only been because of the coronavirus. The nationwide reckoning with systemic racism has also been sharply felt in a genre that, while of diverse roots, has a largely white listenership. Many country singers, including A-listers such as Maren Morris and Little Big Town, have loudly signaled support for protesters. But some stars have been silent—which is now, in itself, controversial. The country artist Mickey Guyton tweeted, “Why is it so hard for some people to publicly denounce racism?,” to which Morris replied, “They think it’s polarizing their fan base or is ‘political’ which it is 100% fucking not.” When the writer Lorie Liebig compiled a spreadsheet of which stars had said what about the recent Black Lives Matter protests, that tracking effort became a flash point, with one country blog comparing it to “Hollywood blacklists and Gestapo papers.”The most potent instances of speaking out have come from Black people in the country world. On Instagram, the singer Darius Rucker shared his anguish about George Floyd’s death; he later went on Today and discussed racism he’d faced from radio programmers. Jimmie Allen broke into tears on a country-music podcast before sharing a memory of when, right after one of his singles landed at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, a police officer acted aggressively toward him during a traffic stop. Black fans have been vocal too. When a woman named Rachel Berry wrote on Instagram about feeling uncomfortable at concerts and festivals because of visible Confederate flags and the possibility of racist harassment, her post went viral and a number of major country stars commented supportively on it.Perhaps the most dramatic sign of recent events challenging country-music complacency can be seen in the renamings that a pair of bands announced last month. The group once known as Lady Antebellum, a country fixture since 2006 that had a No. 1 country-radio single just this past January, said in June that it was changing its name to just Lady A. The band said it initially chose the word antebellum for the vague Southern nostalgia it evoked, but, according to band’s statement, the group “did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery.” A similar story played out with the Dixie Chicks, who became just “the Chicks” in June in order to disavow the racist baggage attached to the term dixie. Both bands’ name changes demonstrate the extent to which ideas of heritage, tradition, and pastoralism baked into country music are tied up with ugly parts of American history—history that’s ever harder to ignore.But for Lady A, the attempt to signal support of Black Lives Matter has become a case study in alleged white hypocrisy. It turned out that Anita White, a Black blues singer from Seattle, had been using the name Lady A for two decades. The country act initially professed ignorance of White’s existence, and then announced that a truce had been brokered, whereby both artists would keep the Lady A name and potentially collaborate. But last week, the platinum-selling band sued White, writing, “Today we are sad to share that our sincere hope to join together with Anita White in unity and common purpose has ended.” The band says she’d asked for a $10 million payment, leading them to take legal action to ensure their right to use the name without paying her. White has said she’d indeed asked for $5 million for the right to use the name, plus a $5 million donation to charities of her choice. “If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing,” White told Vulture. “And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased.”The Chicks, meanwhile, are about to release Gaslighter, their first batch of songs since 2006. Back then, country radio’s boycott—cancellation?—of the Chicks for criticizing the Iraq War did not succeed in getting the band to quiet down, and they remain outspoken on Gaslighter. Produced by the pop artist Jack Antonoff, the album is a lively and thumping stylistic pastiche with biting lyrics about personal matters and politics. On the single “March, March,” the Chicks speak out for abortion rights, for gun control, and to raise questions about Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. Its accompanying video is packed with images from the recent protests, culminating with a list of Black people killed by police. The song’s banjos and harmonies sound like country music, but the listener is left with a jolting, tense feeling far from the soothing haze offered by old Chicks songs like “Wide Open Spaces.” This is the sound of a band insisting that everything is not fine and normal—or maybe that normal was never all that fine.
5 takeaways from primary elections and runoffs in Texas, Alabama and Maine
Johnny Depp’s staffer recalls finding severed fingertip, cuts on Amber Heard’s arm
“I was told that Mr. Depp’s fingertip had been severed. Whilst cleaning up the broken glass and debris, I looked for the fingertip and found it on the floor of the bar area,"
Baby snuggles into 140-pound gentle giant
This kid has a 140-pound friend in his corner. See how 1-year-old Nicholas cuddles up next to the family dog, a gigantic Newfoundland named Odin, in this adorable exchange. “We hope sharing their story will bring joy to the world during these uncertain times,” Massachusetts mom Alena Danilovich said.   Subscribe to our YouTube!
Kansas Congressman Charged With Three Felonies for Voter Registration Listing UPS Store as His Residence
Sir, this is a UPS store.
A Michigan jeweler is retiring and burying $1 million worth of treasure for a 'quest'
Johnny Perri buried his entire jewelry store — and "thousands upon thousands" of precious metals and antiques — throughout the state.
Texas Democrat MJ Hegar To Face Cornyn; Maine's Sara Gideon Will Challenge Collins
In a night of primaries, President Trump's personal physician Ronny Jackson secured a nomination to represent a Texas congressional district and Jeff Sessions lost a bid to regain his Senate seat.
Apple wins victory against E.U. as court rules it does not have to pay back tax fine
An appeals court crimped the E.U.’s aggressive antitrust enforcement effort against the tech giant.
A Different Cold War
And what else you need to know today.
Top managers slam decision to overturn Man City's ban
The decision to overturn Manchester City's ban from European football competitions has been labeled "disgraceful" and not "a good day for football" by two of the biggest managers in the English Premier League.
Top Premier League managers slam 'disgraceful' decision to overturn Manchester City's ban
The decision to overturn Manchester City's ban from European football competitions has been labeled "disgraceful" and not "a good day for football" by two of the biggest managers in the English Premier League.
Top Premier League managers slam 'disgraceful' decision to overturn Manchester City's ban
The decision to overturn Manchester City's ban from European football competitions has been labeled "disgraceful" and not "a good day for football" by two of the biggest managers in the English Premier League.
Google joins the dash for India's Jio with $4.5 billion investment
Asia's richest man is getting another massive investment from Silicon Valley as he grows his technology empire in India.
UFC on ESPN 13 play-by-play and live results (7 p.m. ET)
Check out live play-by-play and official results from UFC on ESPN 13 in Abu Dhabi.       Related StoriesUFC on ESPN 13 discussion threadJimmie Rivera motivated by Petr Yan's title win at UFC 251: 'I think I gave him his toughest fight'UFC on ESPN 13 breakdown: Bad style matchup in the main event, but for whom?
UFC on ESPN 13 discussion thread
UFC on ESPN 13 takes place Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, and you can discuss the event here.       Related StoriesJimmie Rivera motivated by Petr Yan's title win at UFC 251: 'I think I gave him his toughest fight'UFC on ESPN 13 breakdown: Bad style matchup in the main event, but for whom?UFC doesn't plan on changing 'Fight Island' judges
Tiger Woods praises 'fantastic' Black Lives Matter movement
'Glee' creators are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son
"Glee" producers Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan said they are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son.
'Glee' creators are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son
The creators of "Glee" are setting up a college fund for Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son.
7 MLB prospects (not named Luis Robert) whose debuts could shape the wild 2020 season
Here are seven MLB prospects (not including Luis Robert of the Chicago White Sox) who could make their debuts, and a big impact, in 2020.
Atlanta mayor’s ties to predecessor could damage VP chances
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, considered to be on former Vice President Joe Biden’s shortlist of vice presidential candidates, could have her chances complicated by her ties to her predecessor, who left his position amid a pay for play investigation that has resulted in charges for several top aides in his administration.
Marcus Rashford to be awarded honorary doctorate by University of Manchester
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is to become the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
Black and Latino communities face another public health crisis amid the pandemic -- gun violence
In the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Dr. Brian Williams works, doctors have been "running" in the past several weeks to try and keep up with the incoming patients.
British slave trader statue replaced by sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester
A statue of a BLM protester was placed atop a pedestal in the English city of Bristol previously occupied by the toppled statue of a slave trader.
The US reports more than 67,000 new cases, highest daily jump so far
Apple wins appeal against $15 billion EU tax bill
Apple has won its appeal against a European Commission ruling that it owed Ireland €13 billion ($14.9 billion) in taxes.
The D.C. health lab has tested 13,706 blood samples. Only 809 people carried coronavirus antibodies.
The District will continue to offer free antibody tests at three sites for one more month, hoping to learn more about how the virus is spread.
Shaquille O’Neal stops to help motorist stranded on the side of a Florida highway
The TNT analyst and former NBA all-star was said to have “fist bumped” deputies from a Florida sheriff's office after they arrived at the scene.
The United States is treating Hong Kong as mainland China. Business is starting to do the same
The relationship between China and the West is rapidly eroding, and that could have serious implications for Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub.
US is treating Hong Kong as mainland China. Business is starting to do the same
The relationship between China and the West is rapidly eroding, and that could have serious implications for Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub.
Marcus Rashford to be awarded honorary doctorate by University of Manchester
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is to become the youngest ever recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
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UK's Huawei 5G ban could prompt other nations to follow suit
The UK's decision to ban Huawei from its 5G networks was a big victory for the Trump administration and could lead to other nations following suit. It also risks a backlash from China. CNN's Sherisse Pham reports.
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What may come of the WHO's "honest evaluation" of its COVID response?
"This has been a bad experience, and we need to learn from it," former New Zealand leader says of a new, independent panel's mandate.
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One Meat Plant, One Thousand Infections: Revisiting Achut Deng
After surviving civil war in Sudan, one of America’s most vulnerable workers faced the coronavirus. How has she been doing since?
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Prosecutor investigating couple who brandished guns at protesters says governor and Trump are targeting her
The office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said on Twitter that Missouri's governor and President Donald Trump "came after her" for investigating a case.
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Reckoning with the Trump effect on school reopening
Donald Trump's malignant distractions on difficult questions like the reopening of schools are sadly emblematic of an America unable to make thoughtful policies while suffering through a pandemic and a recession without any proper leadership, writes Lincoln Mitchell.
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The Worst of Both Worlds
Failed businesses and lost loved ones, empty theme parks and socially distanced funerals, a struggling economy and an unmitigated public-health disaster: This is the worst-of-both-worlds equilibrium the United States finds itself in.Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has railed against shutdowns and shelter-in-place orders, tweeting in all caps that “we cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself” and pushing for employees to get back to work and businesses to get back to business. But the country has failed to get the virus under control, through masks, contact tracing, mass testing, or any of the other strategies other countries have tried and found successful. That has kneecapped the nascent recovery, and raised the possibility that the unemployment rate, which eased in May and June after nearly reaching 15 percent in April, could spike again later this year.[Annie Lowrey: The second Great Depression]The economy seized in unprecedented terms this spring as states and cities mandated lockdowns. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, and millions of workers were furloughed or laid off. But instead of setting up a national viral-control strategy during this time, as other rich countries did, the United States did close to nothing. Congress underfunded disease research and contact-tracing efforts. No federal agency coordinated the procurement of personal protective equipment. Months into the pandemic, health professionals were still reusing masks for days at a time. The Trump administration punted responsibility for public-health management to the states, each tipping into a budgetary crisis. After a springtime peak, caseloads declined only modestly. Outbreaks seeded across the country. States reopened, and counts exploded again.Now the economy is traveling sideways, as business failures mount and the virus continues to maim and kill. New applications for unemployment insurance, for instance, are leveling off at more than 1 million a week—more than double the highest rate reached during the Great Recession, a sign that more job losses are becoming permanent. After rising when the government sent stimulus checks and expanded unemployment-insurance payments, consumer spending is falling again, down 10 percent from where it was a year ago. Homebase, a provider of human-resources software, says that the rebound has hit a “plateau,” in terms of hours worked, share of employees working, and number of businesses open.The next, terrifying phase of the coronavirus recession is here: a damaged economy, a virus spreading faster than it was in March. The disease itself continues to take a bloody, direct toll on workers, with more than 60,000 Americans testing positive a day and tens of thousands suffering from extended illness. The statistical value of American lives already lost to the disease is something like $675 billion. The current phase of the pandemic is also taking an enormous secondary toll. States with unmitigated outbreaks have been forced to go back into lockdown, or to pause their reopening, killing weakened businesses and roiling the labor market. Where the virus spreads, the economy stops.That is not just due to government edicts, either. Some consumers have rushed back to bars and restaurants, and resumed shopping and traveling. Young people, who tend to get less sick from the coronavirus than the elderly, appear to be driving today’s pandemic. But millions more are making it clear that they will not risk their life or the life of others in their community to go out. Avoidance of the virus, more so than shutdown orders, seems to be affecting consumer behavior. Places without official lockdowns have seen similar financial collapses to those with them, and a study by University of Chicago economists showed that decreases in economic activity are closely tied to “fears of infection” and are “highly influenced by the number of COVID deaths reported” in a given county. [Read: A devastating new stage of the pandemic]In other ways, the spread of COVID-19 is keeping Americans from going back to work. The perception of public transit as unsafe, for example, makes it expensive and tough for commuters to get to their jobs. Schools and day-care centers are struggling to figure out how to reopen safely, meaning millions of parents are facing a fall juggling work and child care. This is a disaster. “The lingering uncertainty about whether in-person education will resume isn’t the result of malfeasance, but utter nonfeasance,” the former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem has argued in The Atlantic. “Four months of stay-at-home orders have proved that, if schools are unavailable, a city cannot work, a community cannot function, a nation cannot safeguard itself.”International comparisons are enlightening. Countries that successfully countered the virus seem to have enjoyed better financial recoveries; countries that did not shut down saw major hits to their economy anyway. In Sweden, authorities declined to enact strict public-health measures as the virus took hold. It has seen significantly higher case counts and more deaths than its neighbors, such as Norway, and its economy tanked. Or consider South Korea. With aggressive contact tracing and mass testing, it kept many of its commercial and educational facilities open as it quashed the pandemic. (The country has tallied just 288 deaths from COVID-19, compared with roughly 135,000 in the United States.) The unemployment rate there is 4.2 percent, and the economy is expected to contract just a small amount this year, due in part to falling exports.In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did a “little dance” to celebrate the country’s reopening one full month ago. In Taiwan, thousands of fans cheered from the stands at a baseball game last week, unafraid of disease. In France, one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, families are back to going on vacation, eating in cafés, and visiting loved ones in hospitals. In the United States, outbreaks are shutting everything down yet again.[Read: New Zealand’s prime minister may be the most effective leader on the planet]The United States can still contain the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, epidemiologists argue. The country can still flatten the curve and lower the death toll. Simple, low-cost measures like requiring masks in public would preserve as much as 5 percent of GDP, economists have estimated, as well as preventing thousands from getting sick. The supposed trade-off between public health and the economy doesn’t exist. And right now, the country is choosing not to save either.
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Power Up: Trump’s spaghetti on the wall campaign is still seeking its special sauce
The president’s rambling Rose Garden speech hit Biden, China, and the Green New Deal.
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