The Atlantic Daily: Three Stories We’re Following

A lot is happening right now. Then: It’s probably best to stay away from your gym for the moment. Here’s why.

Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.


1. The political fight to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“Democrats have few options to try to prevent President Donald Trump from confirming his nominee, whom he plans to announce on Saturday,” our politics writer Elaine Godfrey writes. “So they’re already gaming out how to get revenge.” Read about their Supreme Court Hail Mary.

2. Another round of police-reform protests

Yesterday, a grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, declined to indict the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor earlier this year—and protesters renewed their calls for police reform.

Black Lives Matter, Syreeta McFadden wrote earlier this month, has arrived at an important juncture.

3. Anthony Fauci addresses political influence in the COVID-19 response

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told one Trump-administration official who attempted to censor him and other scientists to “take a hike,” Alexis C. Madrigal reports.

P.S. Your coronavirus crush would really like you to focus on the coming winter.


One question, answered: My gym reopened. Should I go?

Our staff writer Amanda Mull, who recently wrote about the role of the gym in America life, weighs in:

Going to the gym right now is, on balance, a bad idea. Breathing heavily indoors with strangers is one of the key ways that the coronavirus spreads, and gyms have been identified as the source of case clusters among patrons. If you can bear to stay away, that’s the best decision at the moment.

But if your gym has reopened and being away from that part of your routine has weighed on your mental health, there are a few things to consider.

First, what are infection levels like in your area? If you live in a college town, huffing and puffing in close proximity to newly returned students is a terrible idea. If you live in an area with low transmission rates and lots of available testing, the risk is commensurately lower.

Next, what is your specific gym doing to ensure your safety? Capacity should be kept far below normal, patrons should wear masks at all times, people should be spread out within the space, and outdoor alternatives should be offered whenever possible. If your gym is ticking all of those boxes, it’s doing what it can to make your decision to return less dangerous. If you’re able to go at an unpopular time of day when few others will be working out, that enhances all of these safety measures. And don’t be fooled by hygiene theater, such as temperature checks and hand sanitizer.

Finally, your individual circumstances also matter. If you’re older or immunocompromised or live with someone who is, gyms carry a heavy risk for you or your loved one. If you’re unable to work from home, your decision to go to the gym carries a risk for your co-workers. Regular gym patronage also makes you a potential patient zero at a bar or a restaurant. With a contagious disease, risks are rarely only personal.

40 days remain until the 2020 presidential election. Here’s today’s essential read, in case you missed it:

Our new cover story, by the three-time Pulitzer winner Barton Gellman, is a harrowing report on how Trump might muddle the election outcome in November.

What to read if … you need a break from the news:

Teens are making it big on TikTok overnight, thanks to the platform’s algorithm. Read Kaitlyn Tiffany on what comes with that fame.

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