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COMMENTARY

Figuring out omicron – here’s what scientists are doing right now to understand the new variant

By: - December 10, 2021

By Peter Kasson, University of Virginia Scientists around the world have been racing to learn more about the new omicron strain of SARS-CoV-2, first declared a “variant of concern” on Nov. 26, 2021 by the World Health Organization. Officials cautioned that it would take several weeks before they’d know whether the recently emerged coronavirus variant […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court decision limiting access to abortion could harm the economy and women’s well-being

By: - December 8, 2021

By Michele Gilman, University of Baltimore The Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021, heard oral arguments in a case that may result in a ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade. But reproductive health isn’t just about abortions, despite all the attention the procedures get. It’s also about access to family planning services, contraception, sex education […]

No permit, no problem: More states allow residents to carry a hidden gun

By: - December 7, 2021

By Matt Vasilogambros, Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts Six more states no longer require residents to hold a permit to carry a concealed firearm. Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas and Utah this year enacted what gun rights advocates often refer to as “constitutional carry” measures. A legislative priority for groups such as […]

COMMENTARY

How the pandemic helped spread fentanyl and drive opioid overdose deaths to a grim new high

By: - November 30, 2021

By Andrew Kolodny, Brandeis University For the past 20 years, I have been engaged in efforts to end the opioid epidemic, as a public health official, researcher and clinician. And for every one of those years I have looked on as the number of deaths from drug overdoses has set a new record high. Yet […]

COMMENTARY

Giving thanks to America’s medical community for life-saving vaccines

By: - November 26, 2021

If we were not still in the grip of a deadly pandemic, with the seven-day average U.S. death toll from the coronavirus hovering just over 1,100 a day, I probably would not have thought of giving thanks this year for the medical researchers who have given this country protection against many life-threatening illnesses. Back in […]

COMMENTARY

First Thanksgiving key chapter of America’s origin story, but doesn’t reflect following centuries

By: - November 25, 2021

By Peter C. Mancall, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences This year marks the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in New England. Remembered and retold as an allegory for perseverance and cooperation, the story of that first Thanksgiving has become an important part of how Americans think about the founding of their […]

COMMENTARY

Ohio missed out on $1.2 billion plus in severance tax revenue

By: - November 22, 2021

By Guillermo Bervejillo, Policy Matters Ohio The responsible use of Ohio’s natural resources is crucial to the well-being of its residents and to the long-term sustainability of its economic infrastructure. Currently, Ohio is 13th among states in terms of crude oil production and 6th in terms of natural gas. The Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which lie, in […]

COMMENTARY

Journalism in middle America got communities through the pandemic

By: - November 19, 2021

By William Thomas Mari, Louisiana State University News of the pandemic’s devastating effect on journalism was conveyed by headlines across the nation telling of newsroom closures, layoffs and furloughs. Journalism was in trouble in 2020. In fact, it had been in trouble for a while. But how did so many local news organizations – especially […]

COMMENTARY

Why are medieval weapons laws at the center of a US Supreme Court case?

By: - November 18, 2021

By Jennifer Tucker, Wesleyan University In the opening scene of “The Last Duel,” the new film set in 14th-century France, a herald announces the rules for conduct at a tournament to the death. He declares that no members of the public – whatever their social background – are allowed to bring weapons to the event. […]

COMMENTARY

The US was not prepared for a pandemic: Free market capitalism, deregulation may be to blame

By: - November 16, 2021

By Elanah Uretsky, Brandeis University It’s unclear when the pandemic will come to an end. What may be an even more important question is whether the U.S. will be prepared for the next one. The past year and a half suggests that the answer may be no. As a medical anthropologist who has spent the […]

COMMENTARY

The ‘great resignation’ is a trend that began before the pandemic

By: - November 15, 2021

By Ian O. Williamson, University of California, Irvine Finding good employees has always been a challenge – but these days it’s harder than ever. And it is unlikely to improve anytime soon. The so-called quit rate – the share of workers who voluntarily leave their jobs – hit a new record of 3% in September […]

COMMENTARY

The federal poverty line struggles to capture the economic hardship that half of Americans face

By: - November 11, 2021

By Celine-Marie Pascale, American University Michael Chase works two jobs in southeast Ohio: one as a hotel night clerk and one as retail support – sorting through donations, setting new merchandise out, cleaning – at a nonprofit. His schedule is not fixed in either job, and his hours are not guaranteed. Some weeks he works […]