What We’re Following
The American Museum of Natural History is coming under fire for hosting Jair Bolsonaro. Since coming into office in October, Bolsonaro—the newly elected, ultranationalist president of Brazil—has repeatedly prioritized business interests over environmental concerns, opening up the Amazon rainforest for agriculture and mining while wresting land away from indigenous communities. He’s scheduled to speak at a black-tie gala at the museum in May—and some AMNH scientists are furious, since Bolsonaro’s actions are antithetical to the institution’s mission and values. While event organizers contend that the ceremony, while at the museum, isn’t technically affiliated with it, that might be a distinction without a difference.
The Trump administration has been on a mission to tack on work requirements to Medicaid benefits. Seema Verma, a top health-care wonk in the administration, has been leading the effort under the guise that the stipulations will help wean low-income Americans off government programs and lead them to enter the workforce. In 2018, Arkansas became the first state to mandate that residents at or below the poverty line find work or volunteer in order to receive health-care coverage through Medicaid. Since then, an estimated 16,000 people have lost their coverage because of the requirements, while fewer than 2,000 earned enough money to no longer qualify for the program. Work requirements tend to most severely affect African Americans, so they could widen the galling racial disparities in the health-care system if they spread nationwide.