NYC is investigating Amazon for firing a worker who protested coronavirus working conditions

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights will launch an investigation into Amazon for firing a worker who organized a protest this week over fears of a coronavirus outbreak at the Staten Island warehouse where he worked. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the investigation on Tuesday.

The former employee in question, Chris Smalls, recently organized a walkout of about 50 people at a fulfillment center in Staten Island to protest the company’s decision to keep the facility open despite allegations that several associates have been infected with Covid-19. Smalls and other employees demanded that Amazon shut …

The White House projects 100,000 to 200,000 Covid-19 deaths

On Tuesday, the White House’s coronavirus task force presented grim statistics: Under the best-case scenario for mitigation of the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in the United States, with the number of deaths peaking in the next two weeks. The White House’s numbers, presented in a sobering press conference, are based on statistical models drawing on the best available data that attempt to predict the number of cases and deaths.

“When you see 100,000 people — that’s a minimum number,” President Trump said during the press conference. That’s notable coming from Trump, who, in …

A coronavirus recession will mean more robots and fewer jobs

The novel coronavirus pandemic is certainly not good for the labor market. Recent weeks have seen unemployment claims surge to record levels as businesses and entire industries shutter in order to stop the spread of the Covid-19. As a result, the economy has plummeted, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 down more than 20 percent from their February highs.

While social distancing measures may be temporary, this economic downturn’s effect on the labor market will have long-lasting effects. In a joint post with his colleagues, Mark Muro, a senior fellow and policy director at the Brookings …

Why Battlestar Galactica is the perfect quarantine marathon

Few TV shows have spoken to the unrelenting chaos of the still-young 21st century as well as Battlestar Galactica, which aired on Syfy from 2003 to 2009.

A remake of the critically panned 1978 series — itself a poorly disguised attempt to rip off Star Wars and make into a TV show — the new Battlestar Galactica took most of the good ideas from its predecessor (humanity on the run from murderous robots, a complicated mythology built around some combination of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 signs of the zodiac, and a search for a long-missing …

Partisanship is the strongest predictor of coronavirus response

The US is a land divided. Americans have sorted themselves into opposing factions, with different values, sources of authority, and shared understandings. In some ways, there is no longer any meaningful US “public,” but rather two publics that want and believe different things.

The current state of deep polarization in the US is the subject of a great deal of discussion and research right now, including in an excellent new book by my colleague Ezra Klein. One aspect of it that I have highlighted in a number of posts (start here) is what I call America’s epistemic crisis. Epistemology …

The Instacart strike, explained

Some workers for Instacart, one of the most popular US grocery delivery apps, went on strike Monday, demanding better pay and health protections as they risk exposing themselves to the coronavirus to deliver essentials to people on lockdown.

Instacart and other grocery delivery workers are facing soaring demand — as much as 65 percent more compared to the same time last year across the top three services in the first week of March alone. But many of them say they feel increasingly unsafe doing their jobs because the companies they work for are not providing basic support, like giving them …

Democrats are ready to start work on a fourth coronavirus bill. Republicans want to wait.

The House and Senate likely won’t return to Capitol Hill until April 20 at the earliest, but that’s not stopping House Democrats from thinking about a fourth coronavirus stimulus package.

One major initiative Democrats are already contemplating is an infrastructure bill, particularly related to coronavirus recovery. A list could include expanding America’s broadband and 5G internet to allow more Americans to work from home; modernizing hospitals and community health care centers; and updating crumbling water pipelines.

“The fourth bill would be about recovery,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters on a Monday press call. “We would like to see …

N.K. Jemisin’s new book begins with a virus in New York. Somehow, it’s a joyous read.

In The City We Became, the new novel by N.K. Jemisin, an infection is spreading across New York City. It spreads rapidly from person to person, and its goal is nothing less than to destroy everything that makes New York a living, breathing, vital organism. To leave it a husk of itself.

The City We Became is strange to read right now in a way that Jemisin — the only person ever to win the prestigious Hugo Award three years in a row — could not possibly have predicted. The infection in her fantasy New York City is a …

Trump says 200,000 Americans could die from coronavirus, because he’s done “a very good job”

President Donald Trump just dramatically redefined success on the country’s response to the coronavirus.

Barely a month ago, Trump claimed the coronavirus would go away on its own. Then he said it paled in comparison to the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, which killed about 12,500 Americans. Now he’s saying that the estimates showing Covid-19 could kill 100,000 Americans — roughly equivalent to two Vietnam Wars or 38 September 11 attacks — actually reflect how effective he’s been.

During a news conference on Sunday, Trump said that a final US coronavirus death toll somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 …

The US needs foreign doctors and nurses to fight coronavirus. Immigration policy isn’t helping.

Right now, the biggest worry is whether the medical system has enough ventilators and protective equipment to treat patients with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

But another troubling shortage is on the horizon: doctors, nurses, and other health care personnel.

As patient demand continues to ramp up nationwide and more health care workers are unable to show up for work, either because they contract the virus or because they have to self-quarantine, doctor shortages are a real possibility, Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Vox.

“There is a very real risk of provider …