Weekly Review | Harper's Magazine

Sign in to access Harper’s Magazine

Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?

  1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
  2. Select Email/Password Information.
  3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.

Locked out of your account? Get help here.

Subscribers can find additional help here.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!

Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99.
Subscribe for Full Access
Get Access to Print and Digital for $23.99.
[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

“I think, if I may, it’s cool to work. Your neighbor, your brother-in-law, you know, the guy down the street, working has become cool again,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

As the U.S. unemployment rate rose to 13 percent, the second-highest level since the Great Depression, the S&P 500 experienced its largest weekly gain since 1974.1 2 3 Donald Trump rejected a proposed bailout for the United States Postal Service, which employs nearly 600,000 workers, and suggested that its insolvency could be paid off by raising mailing rates for online retailers.4 The president also announced plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions by May 1 in order to aid the economy, and stated that the final death toll would be “substantially under” initial projections of 100,000 to 240,000 lives lost.5 Trump later explained that the decision to resume normalcy in two weeks would be “based on a lot of facts and a lot of instinct also. Whether we like it or not, there is a certain instinct to it.”6 The White House debated halting all financial support for the World Health Organization and creating an independent body for the United States.7 The Indian government permitted manufacturers of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that Trump has suggested cures COVID-19, to export the drug to the United States, and Joe Pizza, a regular visitor to Mar-a-Lago and the CEO of a pharmaceutical company that manufactures the active ingredient in hydroxychloroquine, was accused of telling the president the drug could help.8 9 Americans have lost approximately $12 million to COVID-19 scams that have included bootleg tests, robocalls advertising nonexistent respiratory masks, an app that freezes the user’s phone until they pay a bitcoin ransom, and a silver tincture sold by televangelist Jim Bakker.10 In Massachusetts, a woman sprayed Lysol into the eyes of a Walmart cashier who informed her that she had exceeded the number of Lysol cans she was legally allowed to purchase.11 In Albertville, Alabama, a Wayne Farms plant held a drive-through chicken sale to offset grocery-store chicken shortages; workers at Wayne Farms facilities have been forced to pay the company 10 cents a day for protective masks.12 13 “I think, if I may, it’s cool to work. Your neighbor, your brother-in-law, you know, the guy down the street, working has become cool again,” said White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.14 The governor of New Jersey asked for volunteers who knew COBOL, the programming language the state’s 40-year-old unemployment-claim processing system uses.15

Ecuadorian prisoners were ordered to make coffins out of wood that was seized as part of an anti-deforestation program, and it was revealed that Julian Assange had fathered two children while hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.16 17 “Over the past five years I have discovered that love makes the most intolerable circumstances seem bearable but this is different—I am now terrified I will not see him alive again,” said the children’s mother. The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen agreed to a two-week ceasefire in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19; the first reported case of the virus in the country was recorded a day later.18 19 In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most recent person to contract the Ebola virus died, scuttling the government’s plans to officially declare the Ebola outbreak over.20 The 75-year-old president of Uganda released an at-home exercise video.21 The 13-year-old leader of the international neo-Nazi group Feuerkrieg Division was discovered by Estonian police, but could not be arrested because he is a minor.22 The 78-year-old senator Bernie Sanders, who has never been accused of sexual assault and who unsuccessfully requested that Wisconsin delay its primary because of COVID-19, suspended his campaign and endorsed the 77-year-old Joe Biden.23 24 25 In response to Tara Reade’s accusation that Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993, the Biden campaign’s official response cited his drafting of the Violence Against Women Act.26 “He firmly believes that women have a right to be heard—and heard respectfully,” said Biden’s deputy campaign manager. “What is clear about this claim: it is untrue.” 

A woman in North Carolina contracted the coronavirus even though she had not left her house in three weeks.27 A woman in Brooklyn who “failed to maintain social distancing” was arrested and held in a small cell with 24 other women for 48 hours; she is currently unable to return to work because she must self-isolate.28 A woman from Skokie, Illinois, has filed a lawsuit against Aer Lingus for allegedly pulling her out of an airplane bathroom with her pants down shortly before takeoff.29 A woman who died alone in a nursing home recorded over 40 messages on an Alexa, many of which asked the device to relieve her pain.30 The U.S. Virgin Islands’ district attorney urged the territory’s probate court not to require women to sign broad liability waivers in order to access the Jeffrey Epstein victims’ fund.31 The pope asked Catholics to pray for female victims of domestic violence; reports of domestic violence have increased since the start of the outbreak.32 South Korea reported that, in the past week, at least 116 people who had recovered from COVID-19 have tested positive again.33Violet Lucca

More from