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March 28, 2020

Why the Stimulus Package is Not Enough

–and other essays on COVID-19 from our new “Thinking in a Pandemic” project.

We are living in the midst of the greatest public health crisis of our time. As governments around the world grapple with the severest disruption to social order in generations, billions of individuals find their lives thrown into disarray. Deep injustices have been cruelly laid bare. Tens of thousands have died, and many more will. Millions are quarantined and without work. And while some signs point to good news, others remain stark. On Thursday, the United States became the world leader in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Confronting the many challenges of this moment—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. To that end, we are pleased to announce a new project that gathers all our COVID-19 coverage in one place: Thinking in a Pandemic

Today’s reading list features all the current pieces in our coronavirus catalog, including why the stimulus package is not enough and why sanctions are inhumane—during this crisis, and, always. Be sure to bookmark Thinking in a Pandemic to read the latest essays as they arrive, from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it.

Gregg Gonsalves, Amy Kapczynski

Claims that the cure is worse than the disease rely on a false tradeoff between human needs and the economy.

Mike Konczal, Felicia Wong
Our long-term goal must go well beyond the Senate bill to build a more resilient economy.
Asl? U. Bâli, Aziz Rana

In a world imperiled by global pandemic, it is long past time to put an end to sanctions—including new ones against Iran—and to reconstruct U.S. foreign policy around international solidarity.

Arindrajit Dube
We must act now to support families and businesses. Greatly expanding U.S. unemployment insurance is an obvious way to go—in part because the system is already up and running.
Amy Kapczynski, Gregg Gonsalves
Decades of neoliberal austerity will make it harder to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, we must rebuild our social safety net and forge a New Deal for public health.
Andrew Lanham
The United States has a long history of blaming Asian immigrants for outbreaks of disease. Every time, democracy and public health suffer.
Andrew Elrod, Mark Engler
The battle over the bailout—set to be delivered through a once-obscure Treasury Department mechanism called the Exchange Stabilization Fund—has only just begun.
Mordecai Lyon
While the government and some banks have announced mortgage moratoriums, they have not insisted that rent relief be passed on to tenants. Many renters don’t know what they will do come April 1, let alone May 1.
Michael Bronski
The HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 pandemics are very different, but both reveal that the United States has never understood the connection between community and personal well-being.

Our weekly themed Reading Lists compile the best of Boston Review’s archive. Sign up for our newsletters to get them straight to your inbox before they appear online.

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