Viewpoints: Advantages, Disadvantages of the COVID Relief Compromise; More lessons on unfair mask mandates

The editorial pages focus on these topics related to the pandemic and others.

The Washington Post: Covid-19 Bill Shows Washington Can Still Work, From Time to Time

As the nation wraps up a gloomy 2020, there have been some signs that its political system may still work. The first was an orderly, perhaps the cleanest and safest presidential election ever, which resisted President Trump’s concerted attempts to overturn the result. Second, the Covid-19 relief compromise bill that lawmakers rushed to pass on Monday, after months of legislative deadlock. Yes, it is imperfect. But it is nonetheless an indication that lawmakers are still able to shake hands on big laws when national prosperity is at stake. (12/21)

The Wall Street Journal: Political relief from Covid

Congressional leaders reached agreement on a $ 900 billion Covid-19 relief bill on Sunday night, but please don’t call this economic stimulus. With a few exceptions, the main relief here is for politicians who want to take credit for distributing more money to voters. The best provision of the bill is the limit on potential abuse by Treasury Biden and the Federal Reserve. Credit here to Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, who has stood firm to limit the Fed’s room for maneuver without a new act of Congress. Democrats are claiming victory, but it’s a face-saving way. (12/20)

Los Angeles Times: Stimulation Controls: Too Little For Some, Too Much For Many

Almost a fifth of the $ 908 billion proposed in the long-awaited Congressional coronavirus relief bill will be sent directly to U.S. taxpayers in the form of “economic impact payments” – checks for up to 600 $ per person. The $ 166 billion in these payments is the second item in the bill, behind the $ 325 billion in loans to help struggling small businesses. And yet, in the opinion of some critics, the amount is far from sufficient. “$ 600 is not ‘a lot’ for families,” author Don Winslow said in a tweet that characterized the pushback, “and… the people who said it was“ a lot ”are detached from the pain of millions of Americans. It will not help them in any real or meaningful way. (12/22)

The New York Times: Stimulus deal is pretty good, so far

The $ 900 billion pandemic aid package that emerged Sunday from months of intermittent negotiations between House Democrats and Senate Republicans is a necessary measure that will alleviate the suffering of millions of Americans. It will help the unemployed to feed their families and avoid evictions. This will help small businesses avoid bankruptcy. This will help keep trains and buses running in cities across the country. Congress should have acted months ago, and the delay has caused a lot of unnecessary pain. Even now, Congress is not doing enough to meet the full extent of need. But the relevant question is whether this deal will help – and the clear answer is yes. (12/20)

CNN: Congressional pandemic relief deal saves time, prepares for fierce battles ahead

Finally. The $ 900 billion pandemic relief deal that Congress announced on Sunday offers rare good news during the brutal year-long holiday season and short-term relief for laid-off workers and businesses closed hammered by the double health and economic crisis. The most optimistic interpretation of the deal is that despite a tortured process, a deeply divided Capitol Hill eventually sailed down the path of consensus, pushed by a core of more moderate bipartisan senators who catalyzed compromise in a way. secular. (Stephen Collinson, 12/21/21)

The Hill: Unfair mask mandates distract from real pandemic priorities

In his presidential campaign, Joe Biden called for a national mask mandate to fight the spread of the coronavirus. Biden has since reneged on his call, acknowledging that the president has no real constitutional power to implement a nationwide health order; he can only require masks on federal property. (Ben Bayer, 12/21/21)

Fox News: If Biden continues with open border policy, it will pose serious public health risk during pandemic

On the campaign trail, Joe Biden promised to be President Trump’s antithesis on border and immigration issues. Basically, Biden – whose victory was declared by the Electoral College on Monday – has pledged to do the opposite of everything Trump has done regarding illegal immigration. So let’s see what that would actually look like, assuming Trump’s continued efforts to overthrow former Vice President Biden’s election as president are unsuccessful. Spoiler alert: it would be like spraying a fire with gasoline. Even in normal times, there is a lot to dislike about open border policies. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, opening borders presents another problem: a catastrophic public health risk from the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease. (James Carafano, 12/21/21)

The Washington Post: Even by Florida standards, Governor Ron DeSantis is a Covid-19 disaster

Earlier this month, as Florida neared its 20,000th death from covid-19, a little good humor appeared in the inboxes of 160 state lawmakers: an invitation (plus one!) No mask or social distancing required; any devotion to science or reality could be checked at the door. The event narrowly avoided super-spreader status: the president of the state Senate regretted his absence just hours before the evening when a coronavirus test came back positive. Welcome to Florida, the sun-drenched US state of disbelief. Since the childhood of the pandemic, DeSantis has conveniently, if not diabolically, eliminated covid-19 from public life here. (Lizette Alvarez, 12/21/1)

The Wall Street Journal: New York’s worst slum lord

Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Housing Authority (Nycha) are the Big Apple’s worst owners, according to a watchlist released last week by the city’s public counsel. A new report from the New York City Department of Investigation offers supporting evidence. Nycha is supposed to clean lead paint in apartments where young children live, and an Environmental Protection Agency-certified supervisor is supposed to make sure the job is done right. Instead, Nycha officials resorted to fraud and forgery, the Investigations Department found. The investigation found that “at least since 2013, none of NYCHA’s lead reduction work has ever been supervised by an EPA-certified senior supervisor,” the department said in a press release. Instead, “the head of the main unit pressured employees to falsely sign documents indicating that this work was being supervised.” (12/21)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of coverage of health policies by major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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