Can we move past our partisan divide over Covid?

Welcome to The Fulcrum’s reimagined newsletter. Rather than providing a daily list of links, we will email you a few times a week with some analysis and context of our latest articles and opinion pieces. In addition, when a big story is trending, we may bring that to your attention as well. And as always, we value your feedback – please email any suggestions to newsroom@fulcrum.us.

We’re now more than two years into a global pandemic. And while the death rate has been dropping, a new wave appears to be taking hold. (Philadelphia became the first jurisdiction to reinstate a mask mandate for many indoor facilities yesterday.)


The Fulcrum’s Faye Shen Li Thijssen examined why Americans cannot seem to get on the same page when it comes to bringing the pandemic to heel, finding that it comes down to two interrelated issues: misinformation and the politicization of science.

No matter whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden is president, a significant portion of the country still believes in demonstrably false information about Covid-19. And the divide is clearly along partisan lines.

The Tufts University medical school’s Nina Ashford told Faye she believes neither party has a total hold on the truth and the “best path forward for our democracy” would be a bipartisan approach to health care policy.

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Read Faye’s full report.

Meanwhile, Robert Pearl – a faculty member at Stanford’s medical and business schools – continues his series on rebuilding the US health care system in order to best serve our democratic system of government.

In his latest piece, Robert makes the case that unlike other sectors of the economy, higher prices do not necessarily translate into higher quality health care. Instead, providers maximize their profits by monopolizing the market. Hospital-based doctors have also figured out ways to increase the rates they charge hospitals: by joining management companies backed by private equity. This combination has not been good for consumers, according to Robert.

Check out his recommendations for fixing this aspect of the system.

Join the conversation when America Talks

The Fulcrum’s mission is to be a platform where people get informed, meet, talk and act to repair our democracy. But The Fulcrum is also part of a bigger ecosystem of organizations working to break down the partisan walls that divide this country. That’s why we have signed on as media partner for America Talks, a virtual event bringing together Americans of different stripes for one-on-one and small-group discussions aimed at solving some of our most pressing challenges.

Sign up today to be part of the solution.

Action in the states

The vast majority of legislative activity in this country takes place at the state level. With Congress seemingly always mired in gridlock, it’s important to follow the major issues in the states, David Toscano, a former minority leader in the Virginia House of Delegates, writes in The Fulcrum.

He points to five reasons to keep an eye on policymaking at the state level: education as contested terrain, the pandemic and our health, criminal justice, state preemption of local control, and states as labs for democracy.

Read his full analysis.

(Interested in writing an op-ed for The Fulcrum? Email us at opinions@fulcrum.us.)

Each week, The Fulcrum and the Voting Rights Lab bring you the latest election law news from the states. The big news last week took place in Georgia (as often seems to be the case), where the legislature approved an expansion of the Bureau of Investigation’s jurisdiction over election crimes, although it was a watered down version of an earlier proposal. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign the bill.

Meanwhile, Republican legislators in Wisconsin sent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers nine bills to tighten the rules around elections. He vetoed each and every one of them.

Catch up on the action.

So in the news

Federal judges may rule on congressional races in Ohio today. (Mahoning Matters)

Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state in Arizona played a key role in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. (politico)

Three years ago, Stacey Abrams’ organization filed a lawsuit over the constitutionality of Georgia’s election practices. The trial began yesterday. (Courthouse News Service)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, will not provide another round of funding for election administration this year. (AP)

Upcoming events

Voter Registration Workshop – USC Center for the Political Future – 4/12

LRC LIVE: Building Better Communication – Living Room Conversations – 4/13

Civic Education: An Effective Way to Strengthen Our Democracy – Business for America – 4/14

Reformers Lead: NANR Masterclasses – National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers – 4/15

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