Analysis & Comment

Opinion | The 46th: Biden’s First Catastrophes

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In the second episode of “The 46th,” the special pre-inauguration series of “The Argument,” Michelle and Aaron debate two countrywide crises that President-elect Joe Biden will inherit from Donald Trump: the coronavirus, and the economic chaos it’s causing.

Jeneen Interlandi, the Times editorial board’s health, science and education writer, joins the podcast to discuss what Biden must do around mask mandates, vaccine deployment and public health messaging. Then, Binyamin Appelbaum, the editorial board’s economics writer, joins the debate around stimulus checks, and whether unthinkable human suffering can push Congress to action (spoiler: don’t count on it). And Binya offers recommendations for books — other than his own, of course — for people who want to understand how macroeconomics shapes their own lives, and not be bored doing it.

Background Reading:

Jeneen on President Trump politicizing health measures during a pandemic, what the pandemic winter will look like and the political differences that get between families.

Michelle on Bill de Blasio’s work to get kids back in school, and Trump’s coronavirus deception.

Binya on the looming eviction crisis in the United States and why a strong public health response would be better than cutting interest rates at saving the economy from the coronavirus.

Donald G. McNeil Jr.’s reporting on the need for credible Republican experts on the Biden task force.

From the editorial board: “This Coronavirus Surge Does Not Have to Be So Horrific”; “Let’s Make a Deal”; “Republicans and Democrats Need to Work Together. Earmarks Can Help.”

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“The Argument” is a production of The New York Times Opinion section. The team includes Alison Bruzek, Phoebe Lett, Vishakha Darbha, Elisa Gutierrez, Kathy Tu, Kate Sinclair, Paula Szuchman and Isaac Jones. Special thanks to Michelle Harris. Theme by Allison Leyton-Brown.

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