As more states lurch toward relaxing social distancing rules, prisons — where there is no social distancing — remain terrifying hot spots of COVID-19 infection.

This week in OtherWords, my colleague Robert P. Alvarez explains why these outbreaks are both inhumane for inmates and a threat to the public at large. But there’s a simple solution, he argues: release more inmates.

Meanwhile, as President Trump threatens to withhold federal aid from states that expand voting by mail, Bernie Horn explains why every American citizen should get a ballot in the mail.

Also this week, Jill Richardson reflects on how living with mental illness prepared her for quarantine, while Jim Hightower reports on the pro-Trump millionaire who gamed the coronavirus aid meant for small businesses.

Finally, Sam Pizzigati exposes Elon Musk’s naked greed in illegally forcing Tesla employees back to work before it’s safe. And Khalil Bendib exposes… well, Elon Musk.

New This Week…

A Simple Solution for the Coronavirus Crisis in Prisons | Robert P. Alvarez
Releasing low-risk inmates would ease the risk that sky-high prison infection rates pose to all of us.

To Save Lives — and Democracy — We Need to Vote by Mail | Bernie Horn
We need tens of millions of fewer Americans voting at the polls. Sending ballots in the mail is the simplest solution.

Elon Musk and the Billionaire War on Public Health | Sam Pizzigati
The billionaire Tesla CEO made hundreds of millions more by illegally forcing his employees back to work in a pandemic.

Whatever Your Survival Strategy Is, Do That | Jill Richardson
Feel proud of yourself for getting through this — don’t beat yourself up for not getting through it “better.”

How Pro-Trump Millionaires Robbed Small Businesses of Coronavirus Aid | Jim Hightower
Thanks to a specially carved loophole, one multi-millionaire claimed 339 times more than the average small business received.

Between Elon and a Hard Place | Khalil Bendib
The Tesla CEO’s decision to reopen his plant — illegally and unsafely — was an exercise in naked greed.

In Case You Missed It…

Reopening the Economy Is a Death Sentence for Workers | Negin Owliaei
The wealthy may be fine with sacrificing the vulnerable, but workers are fighting for the sanctity of human life.

Don’t Let the Politicians Divide Us During This Crisis | Rev. Liz Theoharis
We have the resources to survive this crisis, but politicians on both sides of the aisle are using division to force false choices.

Facing Down Bigotry — and a Pandemic | Janice Li and Svante Myrick
Against harassment and bigotry, Asian-American officials are finding ways to care for their communities through this crisis.

Seinfeld’s Tired Take on Women and Marriage | Jill Richardson
Judging by his latest Netflix special, maybe Jerry Seinfeld should try couples counseling instead of standup.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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