It’s Friday, February 28. South Carolina’s open primaries on Saturday are the final test before Super Tuesday. And President Trump said he would nominate the House Republican John Ratcliffe as director of intelligence (if this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before).
In the rest of today’s newsletter: The guessing game of the stock market in the time of coronavirus fears. Plus: Is there anything Bloomberg’s money can’t buy?
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(MARTIN LISNER / SHUTTERSTOCK / THE ATLANTIC)
American workers can’t afford to get coronavirus.
The risk of a real coronavirus outbreak in the United States has gone from being talked about as an outside chance to being talked about as a virtual inevitability. That alarming prospect has the stock market tanking, the Trump administration scrambling, and the CDC broadly advising Americans to stay home if they feel ill.
Sick days themselves are a luxury for a lot of Americans, as my colleague Amanda Mull has pointed out.
Even if a person in one of these jobs is severely ill—coughing, sneezing, blowing her nose, and propelling droplets of virus-containing bodily fluids into the air and onto the surfaces around her—asking for time off means missing an hourly wage that might be necessary to pay rent or buy groceries. And even asking can be a risk in jobs with few labor protections, because in many states, there’s nothing to stop a company from firing you for being too much trouble. So workers with no good options end up going into work, interacting with customers, swiping the debit cards that go back into their wallets, making the sandwiches they eat for lunch, unpacking the boxes of cereal they take home for their kids, or driving them home from happy hour.