Yesterday, Wisconsin Republicans forced the state’s residents to choose between their ballot and their health — with help from the U.S. Supreme Court, which allowed the state to throw out the absentee ballots it didn’t mail to voters in time. This week in OtherWords, Jill Richardson reports from Madison on the GOP’s unambiguous assault on democracy .

Wisconsin isn’t the only place where democracy is under threat as Americans grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Lois Gibbs, a veteran of the fight to get Congress to recognize super-polluted Superfund sites, exposes how the EPA is doing huge favors for polluters while Americans are distracted. In this public health crisis, they’re sowing the seeds for another. Meanwhile, Basav Sen explains how the administration’s cruel immigration policies are making the pandemic worse, while Jim Hightower describes a new class of “pandemic profiteers.”

But it’s not all doom and gloom.

As more of us see the need for universal health care and get used to low-carbon living, Tracey L. Rogers thinks we could yet see huge positive changes come from this harrowing experience. And as Congress considers more bailout packages, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Anneliese Lederer argue for big investments in making Americans more financially secure to begin with, so we’re not always one emergency away from despair.

Thanks for reading. Hope you’re staying healthy and sane.

New This Week…

The EPA Just Gave Polluters a License to Kill | Lois Gibbs
Using the pandemic as cover, the agency is suspending environmental regulations. I’ve seen firsthand what happens next — people die.

Wisconsin’s Unconscionable Sham | Jill Richardson
The state’s election was a danger to public health and a democratic travesty — all to help Republicans suppress more votes.

Cruel Immigration Policies Make the Pandemic Worse | Basav Sen
Warehousing people in unsanitary conditions and then deporting them to poor countries is a recipe for contagion.

A Trillion in Prevention | Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Anneliese Lederer
Our economy was never as strong for working people as the numbers made it look. As we prepare to spend trillions on this crisis, let’s invest in changing that.

What Could Become Possible | Tracey L. Rogers
From health care for all to lower-carbon lifestyles, many once radical ideas now seem more possible — and more necessary — than ever.

Stop the Pandemic Profiteers | Jim Hightower
It’s time for indignant citizens today to confront a new breed of shameful greed merchants: pandemic profiteers.

Social Distancing in the Swamp | Khalil Bendib
Trump stands (six feet) behind everything he’s said.

In Case You Missed It…

‘Worst Case Scenario’: Health Care Workers Need Masks ASAP | Mark Luskus
As a fourth-year medical student, I see each day how a lack of masks is hindering our response to this pandemic.

Thank Farmers and Grocery Workers for Their Service | Kevin Basl
Our national security depends on those workers who feed us. They deserve a living wage and health care.

We Need a Lot More Transparency from the CDC | Leo Lopez
I work with communities that don’t trust the health system to deliver for them. A little transparency could go a long way.

Athletes Are Supporting Stadium Workers. Why Aren’t Owners? | Brian Wakamo
The owners of sports teams make billions off low-wage stadium workers. With games suspended, those workers deserve help.

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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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