Original Commentary

Original Commentary

Top Story Weekly Briefing

The troubling truth behind NC’s vaunted “surpluses”

It’s certainly nice that North Carolina entered the COVID-19 health pandemic with some cash in the bank. The combination of the legislature’s cheapskate spending priorities and the ongoing impasse between Gov. Cooper and GOP legislative leaders has left the state with as much as $3 billion that will be available to help plug the gaping new budget holes that will quickly emerge as recession grips the economy. In addition, the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund will enter a period of what figures to be unprecedented demand with an extra few billion on hand as well.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Top Story

Stories from the pandemic: A UNC grad student shares her experiences, hopes and fears

Like many others, I’ve spent the past few weeks in a state of constant worry: I’m afraid for my parents’ health, and that of my friends and family across the world. I’m afraid of a now-more-than-ever uncertain future. ...
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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The local Right dishes up more distinctly unhelpful talk about the public health crisis

It’s the sacred right of all Americans to complain about their government – even if they do so in destructive and nonsensical ways. As senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry put it a few years back in ...
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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

COVID-19 pandemic makes clear it’s time to rewrite some basic rules

As we all confront the ripple effects of the an unprecedented pandemic throughout North Carolina, we should pause to acknowledge the fundamental lesson that our fates are intertwined. And we should not let this moment pass by without demanding that public leaders put people and communities first as they craft solutions to our public health and economic realities.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The Right’s dangerous policy prescriptions for the COVID-19 pandemic

Now is no time for North Carolina to double town on "fiscal restraint" As the health pandemic caused by the new coronavirus continues to take its dreadful toll on human life and wellbeing, the denizens of Right-Wing Avenue in North Carolina have begun to promote an inaccurate and downright dangerous talking point. According to politicians and their apologists in conservative advocacy groups and think tanks, the policy agenda pursued by the Republican-led General Assembly over the past decade has left our state extremely well-positioned to respond to the crisis.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

We must act now to prevent an epidemic in North Carolina’s prisons and jails

What will happen when COVID-19 reaches our local jails and prisons in North Carolina? Without a change to state policy, we fear the worst. Many facilities are already overcrowded and have inadequate living conditions. But with the new ...
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Progressive Voices Top Story

The time to fix NC’s broken unemployment insurance system is right now

Experts say it is a certainty that there will be an economic slowdown as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Businesses will see demand for their goods and services decline as a result of people isolating or quarantining themselves or having to stay home with schoolchildren and infected or otherwise vulnerable family members. Businesses will experience disruptions to their supply chains of goods and products as a result of challenges with interstate and global trade. Workers will be laid off or not be able to come to work. Income losses could be catastrophic for families and communities and only serve to deepen the economic harm.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

A vital wake-up call for all of us

The COVID-19 outbreak demands immediate and aggressive action – for now and the future As miserable, frightening and unprecedented as it is, the current global pandemic with which we are currently attempting to cope ought not to have caught us by such great surprise. Public health officials have been warning about the growing likelihood of such events for decades and, in many instances, dealing with less widespread versions.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

The Right’s attacks on Medicaid expansion grow more desperate

You’d think the emergence of the coronavirus would, at long last, have shamed North Carolina’s political right into an embarrassed silence on the topic of Medicaid expansion. After all, it’s one thing to blithely claim that hundreds of thousands of hard-working people would be better off without health insurance coverage when the nation isn’t in the middle of a dangerous health epidemic. To do so at a moment like the present, however, is enough to raise serious concerns about the mental wellbeing of those issuing such utterances.

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Other Voices Top Story

Some important truths about “religious people” and abortion rights

When I was a newly ordained, still naive and idealistic, young pastor from South Carolina, I attended a meeting of Clergy for Choice. This was 1989, 16 years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion. We had gathered as faith leaders because state legislation was in the offing that would curtail that federal right.

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Original Commentary Top Story

The practicalities and policy implications of the coronavirus

As the coronavirus continues its slow and stress-inducing march across the globe there are several things – both from a practical, public health standpoint and from a public policy perspective – that all of us would do well to keep in mind. Here are five: #1 – This is a deadly serious matter that we all need to treat as such.Yesterday, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, North Carolina’s State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer for the state Department of Health and Human Services on the Policy Watch radio show News and Views and she offered several important reminders about where things stand and what we all should do to minimize the risk.

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