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some, cars, training abroad and proxim-
ity to power.Neighbors called them collaborators,
doing the dirty work for Israels occupa-
tion. Relatives questioned their self-re-
spect. Israeli counterparts, they said,
routinely treated them with highhand-
edness and disdain. And yet, in their colorful uniforms, the
security forces are a conspicuous em-
bodiment of the incipient state they
hoped they were building. Now that Israels threat to annex
parts of the West Bank has thrown that
national project into doubt, many offi-
cers question whether the cost to them
was worth it. Its as if youre building a house, and
you see the whole thing collapse, said a
senior intelligence officer in Jenin,
speaking on condition of anonymity be-
cause he was not authorized to be inter-
viewed. In a rare series of interviews, Pales-
tinian officers in the West Bank de-
scribed a law enforcement system that
is already fraying, inviting violence and
chaos. In protest of Israels planned annex-
ation, the Palestinian Authority halted
security cooperation with Israel, impair-
ing police and intelligence work that
benefited both sides. The authority
stopped accepting taxes collected on its
behalf by Israel, and in the resulting
What wounded Maj. Zahi Jamhour
most, he said, wasnt that the Palestin-
ians he had sworn to protect threw
stones at him.
It wasnt even the bullet shot through
his leg by an Israeli soldier a mistake,
he was told later after members of his
Palestinian police squad had risked
their lives to rescue a Jew from an at-
tempted lynching. No, what stings to this day is how the
Arab doctors and nurses at an East Je-
rusalem hospital reacted when he told
them how he had been shot.
They laughed at me, Major
Jamhour, 50, recalled ruefully. They
said, You deserved it.
The scorn heaped upon Palestinian
Authority security officers for cooperat-
ing with Israel, some officers say, was
the bitter price of jobs with significant
benefits: salaries, pensions and, for budget crisis, most officers are receiv-
ing partial pay; some are already skip-
ping work.
Many of those still reporting for duty
sip coffee in their stations, rather than
responding to calls and risking deten-
tion by Israeli forces, leaving large areas
without police protection. The security forces have long played a complicated role. They have become
more professional in recent years but re-
main an instrument of political control,
as well as security.
Scarred by losing Gaza to Hamas in a
2007 civil war, the forces have been cru-
cial in keeping Fatah in power in the
West Bank, aggressively quashing more
Col. Saed Zahran, right, the police commander of a Palestinian squad, said he has limited power to deliver protection. Many officers have faced scorn for working with Israel.
Cast adrift in annexation
For Palestinian police force,
theres much to lose if Israel
takes West Bank territory
AND MOHAMMED NAJIB Israeli soldiers overlooking the Jordan Valley on the occupied West Bank, the area
Israel says it will annex. The Palestinian Authority has halted cooperation in protest.
At the end of February, just as the coro-
navirus was beginning to cast its pall
over Europe, an elite crowd that includ-
ed the likes of Anna Wintour, Jeff Bezos
and Seth Meyers gathered in the gilded
19th-century halls of the Ministry of Eu-
rope and Foreign Affairs in Paris to
watch Diane von Furstenberg be
awarded the Légion dHonneur.The woman clothed by Diane von
Furstenberg is free in her movement
and free to take life in her own hands,
said Christine Lagarde, the president of
the European Central Bank, who wore a
red wrap DVF pantsuit while pinning
the medal on Ms. von Furstenbergs vel-
vet dress. She noted that Ms. von Furst-
enberg, 73, deserved the honor for her
service to womens liberation, for rais- ing $100 million for the renovation of the
Statue of Liberty and for what she
meant to fashion.
Within four months, the British and
French operations of Ms. von Fursten-
bergs company had done the European
equivalent of filing for bankruptcy.
Slightly more than 60 percent of the cor-
porate and retail staff in the United
States, Britain and France was laid off,
creditors were complaining vocifer-
ously about unpaid bills, and Ms. von
Furstenberg was making plans to close
18 of her 19 remaining directly operated
U.S. stores. She was transforming her
company from one based on bricks and
mortar to a business focused on the in-
tellectual property value of her brand
name, which can be attached to prod-
ucts and e-commerce initiatives. Her glamorous personal brand had
masked the fact that her fashion line had
been losing money for years. Her com-
pany, like many fashion brands, had
been relying on an old business model.
When the coronavirus hit and stores
were closed, there was nowhere to hide.
Crisis mars the face of U.S. fashion
Retail plunge lays bare
longtime financial woes
at Diane von Furstenberg
AND SAPNA MAHESHWARI Diane von Furstenberg at the DVF Awards event in February. The designers glamorous
personal brand masked the fact that her fashion line had been losing money for years.
ANNA MONEYMAKER/THE NEW YORK TIMESThe New York Times publishes opinion
from a wide range of perspectives in
hopes of promoting constructive debate
about consequential questions. As smoke poured from the Chinese Con-
sulate in Houston this week, the product
of an old-fashioned ritual in which
evicted diplomats touch off a bonfire of
classified documents after being or-
dered to leave the country, Trump ad-
ministration officials boasted that they
were hitting Beijing where it hurt in
one of the epicenters of its spying opera-
tions in the United States.
The technique the administration
chose accuse, condemn, evict has
been used before. And, so far, there is
scant evidence that it has limited the
cyberattacks and other bad behavior by
Americas two greatest rivals for influ-
ence and power around the world, China
and Russia. Officers of the Chinese Peoples Liber-
ation Army were indicted in 2014 for an
extensive effort to bore inside American
companies. The result was an impres-
sive Wanted poster by the F.B.I., but
six years later none of them have been
apprehended to stand trial in the United
States on charges of looting some of
Americas biggest companies. Two years ago, 12 Russian intelli-
gence operatives were indicted by
Robert S. Mueller III, the special coun-
sel who investigated both Moscow and
President Trump. They have also
evaded trial. The president closed two
Russian diplomatic facilities that the
United States said were dens of spies op-
erating under diplomatic cover, and he
ordered more evictions.
Yet the hacking and the disinforma-
tion operations have proceeded un-
abated and by some measures have ac-
celerated. There is no doubt that China repre-
sents a tremendous espionage threat for
the United States, said Abraham M.
Denmark, who runs the Asia program at
the Woodrow Wilson International Cen-
ter for Scholars and was a senior De-
fense Department official. The ques-
tion here is not Chinas culpability I
expect its solid but rather if suddenly
closing the consulate in Houston will ad-
dress the problem. It probably wont, most cyberexperts
inside and outside the government con-
cede. After years of trying to figure out
how to deter cyberattacks by naming
and shaming, indicting and sometimes
even counterattacking the problem of
halting attacks that remain short of war
is proving far more complex than deter-
are unlikely
to disrupt
U.S. can close a consulate
in Houston, but hackers
work beyond the borders
Eight is thought to be a lucky
number in China because in Chinese it
sounds like the word for fortune; 444
is a bad number because it rings like
death; 520 sounds like I love you. Having always disliked superstition, I
was dismayed to receive a message by
WeChat at 4:44 p.m. on May 20, Beijing
time, informing me that my Uncle Eric,
who lived in New York, had died from
Covid-19. He was 74. Uncle Eric was a pharmacist, so
presumably he contracted the virus
from a patient who had visited his shop
in Queens. Infected in March, he was
sick for more than
two months. He was
kept on a ventilator
until his last 10 days:
By then, he was
deemed incurable
and the ventilator
was redirected to
other patients who
might be saved.The medical trade
runs in my family. I
now preside over a medical university
in Beijing with 19 affiliated hospitals. I
studied medicine because my father
was a doctor, a pulmonary physician. He
decided to study medicine after losing
his mother to a minor infection when he
was 13. My father did not expect to lose a
brother 15 years his junior to a disease
in his own specialty: the respiratory
system. My father (Weihua) and Eric
(Houhua) were first separated in 1947.
My father, then 17, stayed behind in
Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi Prov-
ince, in central-southern China, to finish
his education, while Eric, age 2, and
other brothers and a sister sailed to
Taiwan with their parents. With the end
of World War II, Taiwan had been re-
turned to China after five decades of
Japanese occupation, and there were
job opportunities there.
The family did not anticipate what
would happen in 1949: The Communist
takeover of mainland China and, for
them, the beginning of another kind of,
and very long, separation. My father completed his medical
education in Nanchang and had gradu-
ate training with one of the top respira-
tory physicians in Shanghai, but in the
1960s the Cultural Revolution then took
him to a small town and after that to a
village, where he was the sole doctor. He
moved back to a major hospital in Nan-
chang in 1972. In the mid-1970s, my grandfather sent
him by way of Fiji a letter at a
previous address, and miraculously it
Would he
still be alive
in China?
My Uncle
Eric died
of Covid-19
in New York.
My relatives
in Wuhan
, PAGE 11 Yi Rao
China stocks are surging and investors
are rushing in, bringing uneasy recol-
lections of a 2015 stock crisis. PAGE 7 Learn more ab out our reso urc es for lib ra ries and
educator s. C ontact u s t od ay. Th
e w orld has a l ot to t each . ny
tedu cation @n ytim ny
tim /group subsEm powe r your tea m
wi th a g roup sub script ion t o
Th e N ew Yor k T imes. St
ay inf or me d to
get a s tep a head. ny
tcorp orate@ nytime m ny
tim /group subs
Y(1J85IC*KKNSKM( +,!z!$!%!z Issue Number
No. 42,722
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Corona hits someone a lot worse if
they have a precondition, Ms. von
Furstenberg said in an interview. The effects of the pandemic, which
has forced retail chains such as Neiman
Marcus and J.C. Penney as well as com-
panies like J.Crew into bankruptcy, have
reached the designer sector. And Ms.
von Furstenberg, who for decades was
the face of American fashion, both as the
inventor of the wrap dress and as the 13-
year head of the Council of Fashion De-
signers of America, is suddenly at risk of
becoming the most recognizable exam-
ple of its crisis. The question is whether she can re-
structure her business while avoiding
bankruptcy in the United States, keep-
ing her name and getting through this
period with enough of her reputation in-
tact to become the face of the industrys
recovery. To even create a business
model to pass on, as she has dreamed, to
her 21-year-old granddaughter, Talita
von Furstenberg. Theres no shame in admitting you
are in trouble, Ms. von Furstenberg
said. It kills me, but it kills everybody.
Every designer is calling me. I want to
tell people this happens to everybody. But there are plenty of unhappy peo-
ple, like employees who were let go
without severance and unpaid vendors,
for whom that explanation may not be
enough. According to Ms. von Furstenberg,
the companys financial problems began
around 2015 just after the 40th anni-
versary of her wrap dress and the publi-
cation of her memoir, The Woman I
Wanted to Be. She had been thinking
about her legacy and, she said, listened
to advice that her goal should be to
build a big operating business by fol-
lowing the luxury brand playbook devel-
oped by Gucci and Dior: Open flagship
stores on important shopping streets in
capitals around the world. Between 2013
and 2015, she nearly doubled her num-
ber of directly owned stores. This move saddled the business with
expensive rents and yearslong leases at
a time when nimble digital brands were
rising. The company was also in cre-
ative turmoil, with a revolving door of
five designers one of whom did two
stints in 10 years.
There started to be a real inconsis-
tency in creative direction, and that got
very expensive, because we started los-
ing customers, said Sandra Campos,
who was the labels chief executive until
she left last month. The company was kept afloat by the
wealth of Ms. von Furstenberg and her
billionaire husband, Barry Diller. By
2016, Ms. von Furstenberg said, she re-
alized she had made a mistake and be-
gan to pull back on retail, though it was
not until 2018 that she hired Ms. Campos
as chief executive and a restructuring
plan was created. This is an emotional business, and
emotional decisions get made and
shes a great believer in all people, Ms.
Campos said of Ms. von Furstenberg.
Its both a strength and a weakness, in
terms of making decisions that are
smart business for the long term. They tried to renegotiate and surren-
der leases, gradually reducing the
losses by 65 percent. Though there was
more of a focus on e-commerce, it was
still only 20 percent of the business.
Sales, which had been about $300 mil- lion before the recession, had shrunk to
half that, as costs rose.
Ive lost an enormous amount of
money in the last four years, Ms. von
Furstenberg said.
Still, to most of the world, the pri-
vately held label, closely intertwined
with Ms. von Furstenbergs enviable
lifestyle and extraordinary biography
the daughter of a Holocaust survivor
who married European royalty and a
self-made design power who landed on
the cover of Newsweek at 29 ap-
peared to be a success.
In 2010, Ms. von Furstenberg and her
family created the DVF Awards to honor
the achievements of women like Anita
Hill and Misty Copeland, and last year,
she started an initiative called In Charge
with the aim of creating a networking
hub for women.
On Instagram, where Ms. von Furst-
enberg personally has 232,000 follow-
ers, she posted luxurious travel scenes,
advice and motivational mantras, along
with pictures of herself as a young wom-
an and as a doting grandmother. A suc-
cession plan came into focus with the in- troduction of a capsule collection last
year from her granddaughter Talita.
Called TVF for DVF, it was celebrated
at a young-socialite-studded luncheon
in October in New York.
But as the pandemic began to hit the
retail sector, DVFs problems morphed
into a crisis. In January, as the virus
forced a lockdown in China, the com-
pany began to postpone payments to
vendors, struggling with a major loss of
revenue from Chinese consumers, who
accounted for 20 percent of the brands
global sales. As the virus crept across
Europe, things worsened. By early
June, DVF reportedly owed more than
$10 million in store rent and millions
more to vendors. The company declined
to comment on the matter.
A turnaround in the best of times takes three to five years, patience and
consistency of design and strategy, Ms.
Campos said. Then Covid hits in the
middle of it. You may have to make deci-
sions you would not otherwise have
The company started furloughing
most of its U.S. employees in March, af-
ter closing its offices in the meatpacking
district of Manhattan, where Ms. von
Furstenberg maintains a pied-à-terre
that overlooks the High Line, the city
park she was instrumental in creating.
Every single thing was considered,
said Ms. von Furstenberg, including
sale to a company such as Authentic
Brands Group, which specializes in
stripping valuable brands of their physi-
cal dead weight and applying their
names to mass-market products. How-
ever, in the end, Ms. von Furstenberg
said, she felt that only the family could
ensure the brands legacy. Ms. von Furstenberg, Mr. Diller and
Ms. von Furstenbergs son, Alex, and
daughter, Tatiana the majority of the
companys six-member board de-
cided to shrink everything down and go back to the core, Ms. von Furstenberg
said. They would effectively pare the
company to its bones and preserve the
brand name until DVF could grow again
or Talita took over. More than half the
employees have been laid off, many
without severance.
DVF struck a deal with a Chinese
partner, ZBT Limited, to not only oper-
ate all 38 franchise stores in that coun-
try, but also to handle production, fabric
sourcing and development, and manage
the relationship with DVFs longtime
manufacturer in China. The remaining
stores outside the U.S. are all franchises.
Ms. Campos became a part-time con-
sultant after resigning last month. I
couldnt afford her, Ms. von Fursten-
berg said.
DVFs physical existence in the
United States will be limited to the
ground floor of its headquarters in the
meatpacking district. If her plan works, it will be the third
iteration of the company, which began in
1972 when Ms. von Furstenberg arrived
in New York with her husband at the
time, Prince Egon von Furstenberg. Overzealous licensing deals on products
as varied as eyeglasses and luggage
marked the end of the original era of
DVF. Ms. von Furstenberg distanced
herself from the brand, but in 1992, she
was lured back to fashion by the TV
shopping channel QVC, and five years
later the next stage of DVF began.
Now, the layoffs and issues with ven-
dors have put Ms. von Furstenberg in a
delicate position.
On April 13, Ms. von Furstenberg
posted a photo of herself on Instagram
captioned: This forced pause is giving
us time to think . . . take advantage of it,
to eventually reset . . . Have a good week
and be safe.
Someone responded in a now-deleted
comment that circulated via screenshot
among current and former staff mem-
bers: During this forced thoughtful
pause did you come up with any ideas on
how your @DVF employees (who were
put on furlough with ZERO salary) take
advantage of this downtime? Some of us
are struggling to pay bills, feed our fam-
ilies and enjoy this time of resetting you
speak of. Some vendors are still waiting on pay-
ments. Emily Thompson, who owns a
flower design company in Manhattan,
said she was owed more than $20,000
for the October collection luncheon. Ms. von Furstenberg said she did not
blame Ms. Thompson for being upset
and had every intention of paying at
least as much as she could both to her
vendors and her staff. We will be as fair
as we possibly can, she said. The
smaller people will definitely be han-
dled. I own it of course I do.
She had to, she noted; she is writing a
new book, called Own It. She added that what she was doing
with the brand was what I should prob-
ably have done a while back, and that
she was feeling increasingly positive
about the future. I can see the light at the end of the
tunnel, Ms. von Furstenberg said. But
things change from morning to night. So
who knows? A big wave could come and
we would be swamped again.
Marring the face of U.S. fashion
Clockwise from above, Ms. von Furstenberg with her granddaughter Talita, who is to
take over the business; the remaining U.S. store, in Manhattan; Christine Lagarde of
the European Central Bank, with the designer at her Légion dHonneur ceremony. PASCAL LE SEGRETAIN/GETTY IMAGES BRITTAINY NEWMAN/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Corporate and retail personnel
were laid off, creditors
complained and only one of the
19 stores she owned survived.
Andrew Mlangeni, the last surviving co-
defendant convicted with Nelson Man-
dela in 1964 at the Rivonia Trial, which
exposed to the world the harsh segrega-
tionist policies of apartheid in his native
South Africa and helped define the bat-
tles lines in the struggle there against
white minority rule, has died in Pretoria.
He was 95. His death was confirmed on Wednes-
day by the office of President Cyril
Ramaphosa, which said Mr. Mlangeni
had died overnight at a military hospital
after being admitted because of an ab-
dominal complaint. All eight men accused of sabotage at
the trial were given life sentences and
served long prison terms. Mr. Mandelas
was the longest, 27 years, until his re-
lease in 1990 as South Africa began a re-
markable transformation to fully demo-
cratic elections in 1994.
Mr. Mlangeni served 26 years as Pris-
oner 467/64 (Mr. Mandela was 466/64),
much of the time on Robben Island; he
was released in 1989. Unlike the char-
ismatic Mr. Mandela, who became South
Africas first Black president, Mr. Mlan-
geni cast himself in a more self-effacing
role. An official biography, written for his
charitable foundation in 2017, was titled
The Backroom Boy, a reference to his
clandestine activities in the under-
ground resistance and, perhaps, to the
language of apartheid, when white
bosses routinely referred to adult Black
underlings as boy.
When Mr. Mlangeni arrived under
heavy guard on Robben Island in 1964,
he and other Black convicts in the group
were issued prison uniforms with short
trousers usually reserved for school-
For all his reticence, though, Mr. Mlangeni was in a historic vanguard of
opposition to apartheid that turned to vi-
olent tactics, starting in 1961 with the
creation of a secretive insurgent group
called uMkhonto weSizwe, the Spear of
the Nation.
According to Mr. Mlangenis biogra-
phy, Mr. Mandela sought him out and se-
lected him to join five other men in the
first group of South African anti-apart-
heid activists to be sent to China for
training. (Mr. Mlangeni had to prove his
physical fitness by performing push-ups
to Mr. Mandelas satisfaction, according
to this account.)
It was a time when a wind of change,
in the words of Prime Minister Harold
MacMillan of Britain, was blowing
through Africa, fanning a clamor for in-
dependence and majority rule and
threatening a palisade of British and
Portuguese colonies shielding South Af-
rica. Faced at home with powerful white-
led security forces and an all-pervasive
secret police, the would-be freedom
fighters played a cat-and-mouse game
to avoid detection as they planned their
journey to China as representatives of
the outlawed African National Congress
and South African Communist Party. Outside South Africa, the activists re-
lied on a network of exiles to arrange
passage for Mr. Mlangeni and the rest of
the group. Slipping out of South Africa to
neighboring Botswana (then called the
Bechuanaland Protectorate), they trav-
eled through Tanzania, Sudan and
Ghana, flew to Zurich, and then contin-
ued on to Prague, Moscow and Irkutsk,
in Siberia, before reaching China, ac-
cording to Mr. Mlangeni in a series of in-
terviews last year with Pippa Green, a
prominent South African journalist. During their training, South Africans
were amazed to be visited by Mao Ze-
dong, the head of the Chinese Commu-
nist Party.
Mao looked me straight in the face
and I did the same, trying to be as great
a soldier as I could, Mr. Mlangeni was quoted as saying in his biography.
The South Africans were schooled in
bomb-making, secret communications
and the Maoist philosophy of insurgen-
cy. But their ability to put their lessons
into practice proved short-lived. After he returned to South Africa in
late 1962, Mr. Mlangeni joined the insur-
gents high command. He disguised
himself as a priest and traveled around
South Africa recruiting young people to
go abroad for insurgency training. But
in June 1963 he broke the rules of his
tradecraft by staying at his home in the
Dube section of Soweto rather than in a
safe house. The police raided it. Initially, he and a fellow activist, Elias
Motsoaledi, were charged with trying to
spirit out of the country a group of South
Africans, including Jacob Zuma, who
would become president in the post-
apartheid era. They were acquitted but immediately
rearrested under apartheid laws per- mitting 90 days detention without trial.
The men were subsequently accused
of sabotage, as were others who had
been arrested in a raid of a farmhouse in
the Rivonia district of Johannesburgs
northern suburbs. They faced charges
of plotting to overthrow the state, a
crime that could have brought death
sentences. The subsequent trial, named for the
Rivonia area and beginning in 1963,
drew broad international attention. It is
often remembered for a stirring address
from the dock by Mr. Mandela, in which
he evinced his readiness if needs be to
sacrifice his life for the cause of freedom.
But Mr. Mlangeni also spoke, urging
Judge Quartus de Wet to remember
what we, African and nonwhite people,
have had to suffer. That is all I have to say, he said, ex-
cept to add what I did was not for myself
but for my people. Andrew Moeti Mokete Mlangeni was born on June 6, 1925, on a remote white-
owned farm near the town of Bethle-
hem, about 150 miles south of Johan-
nesburg. He was the ninth child of 10
born to Aletta and Matia Mlangeni, a
farm laborer who died when Andrew
was 6.
Mr. Mlangeni had a twin sister,
Emma. When he was imprisoned, she
died of cancer weeks before his release
in 1989. The authorities refused to allow
him to attend her funeral. In later life, Mr. Mlangeni said he had
been born in a township near Johan-
nesburg, but this was a ruse to thwart a
police practice of sending people they
considered troublemakers back to their
place of birth. By all accounts, he started school only
at the age of 11 or 12, after the family had
moved from the Bethlehem area to
nearby Kroonstad, although his father
had taught him to read. He worked as a
caddy at a golf course in Bethlehem that
admitted only white players. But he
came to love the game and played it into
his 90s. In 1945, Mr. Mlangeni joined the
Young Communist League, which was
organized in cells along revolutionary
lines. His cell leader was Ruth First, a
white communist and anti-apartheid ac-
tivist killed in 1982 by a parcel bomb that
had been mailed by the South African
security police while she was in exile in
Mozambique. In 1950, Mr. Mlangeni married June
Ledwaba, whom he had met while she
was working as a shop assistant in
Soweto. She, too, became an anti-apart-
heid protester, harassed by the security
police while her husband was incarcer-
ated. She died of cancer in 2001, shortly
after their 50th wedding anniversary.
Mr. Mlangeni is survived by his two
daughters, Maureen and Sylvia, and a
son, Sello. His eldest son, Aubrey, died in
The 1950s were a time of ferment and
ever greater repression, when the Afri-
can National Congress, the South Afri- can Communist Party and other groups
struggled to define the ideological nar-
rative of resistance.
For Mr. Mlangeni, the debate culmi-
nated in 1955 with the adoption of the
Freedom Charter, setting out a vision of
a nonracial South Africa in which its
wealth would be redistributed. Mr.
Mlangeni called it the bible that would
be used to pursue freedoms for all South
Africans. The authorities responded with the
so-called Treason Trial, from 1956 to
1961, when more than 150 anti-apartheid
defendants, including Mr. Mandela but
not Mr. Mlangeni, were hauled into
court. All were acquitted. While the trial was going on, the po-
lice in Sharpeville, about 40 miles south
of Johannesburg, opened fire on un-
armed protesters taking part in a dem-
onstration that had been organized by
the newly formed Pan Africanist Con-
gress; 69 were killed. The massacre led
to a declaration of a state of emergency
that outlawed the principal anti-apart-
heid groups.
By the time the Rivonia trial ended, in
June 1964, it was clear that the authori-
ties were bent on crushing the resist-
ance leadership. Once imprisoned, Mr.
Mandela became an invisible figure-
head in waves of protests that ulti-
mately led to the dismantling of apart-
heid in the early 1990s. Mr. Mlangeni became a lawmaker in
1994 in the newly created multiracial
Parliament but retired after a single
five-year term. He continued to exert influence as
head of an African National Congress
committee charged with maintaining
the partys integrity. According to his interviews in 2019, he
frequently urged President Jacob Zuma,
his former comrade-in-arms, to resign
in the face of sweeping corruption
charges. Mr. Zuma was forced from of-
fice in 2018.
Ally of Mandela in South African anti-apartheid struggle
1 925-2020
Lynsey Chutel contributed reporting.
Nelson Mandela, left, and Andrew Mlangeni, right, both convicted of sabotage at the
1964 Rivonia Trial, with Cyril Ramaphosa, now the president of South Africa, in 1990.

When the United Nations imposed its
toughest sanctions yet on North Korea
in 2017, one of the main targets was
It was one of the countrys top ex-
ports, and the Security Council hoped to
bring the trade to a halt as part of the
international effort to pressure the
North into giving up nuclear weapons. But squid fishing in North Korean wa-
ters has continued on a large scale, an
organization that tracks commercial
fishing said this week. And the boats
bringing in most of the catch are not
North Korean, but Chinese dark
fleets that defy sanctions enforcement
by concealing their locations and identi-
ties. Since the sanctions took effect, Chi-
nese vessels have caught more than half
a billion dollars worth of squid, said the
group, Global Fishing Watch, which ad-
vocates sustainable fishing. That money
does not go to North Korea, but the boats
pay the North for fishing rights an ar-
rangement that has been in place for
more than 15 years and that still brings
in hard currency for the pariah state, de-
spite the ban. What is more, the Chinese boats
bigger and better-equipped have
been squeezing North Korean fisher-
men out of their own waters. That forces
them on dangerous voyages to more-
distant seas, many of which end in
It is the largest known case of illegal
fishing perpetrated by a single industri-
al fleet operating in another nations wa-
ters, said Jaeyoon Park, a senior data
scientist at Global Fishing Watch and a
lead author of two reports on the subject
that the group published this week. A United Nations panel previously
said that Chinese boats were still fishing
in the Norths waters, despite the 2017
sanctions which, besides banning the
export of North Korean seafood, coal,
iron ore and other resources, prohibit
the purchase of fishing rights from the
Pyongyang government. But the Global Fishing Watch reports
add considerably to what is known
about the Chinese activity, including its
connection to the deaths of North Kore- an fishermen in far-off waters.
Over the past several years, hundreds
of small North Korean boats, some so
primitive that they used stones for an-
chors, have washed up on the coasts of
Japan and Russia most of them
empty, but some with hungry survivors
aboard, and others containing human
remains. Forty-five such ghost ships were
found in Japan in 2015, and their num-
bers have risen sharply since then. In
2018, 225 North Korean boats were
found on Japanese shores. Last year,
there were 158. The crews of the boats
that turn up empty are believed to have
either drowned or been rescued by
other North Korean fishermen. These incidents often involve starva-
tion and deaths, and many fishing vil-
lages on North Koreas eastern coast
have now been coined widows vil-
lages, Global Fishing Watch said in
one of its new reports, Illuminating
Dark Fishing Fleets in North Korea,
which was published in the journal Sci-
ence Advances. Using satellite technology and work-
ing with researchers from Australia, Ja-
pan, South Korea and the United States,
Global Fishing Watch determined that
more than 900 vessels of Chinese origin
had fished in North Korean waters dur-
ing the 2017 squid season. It counted 700
for 2018. The ships do not publicly
broadcast their locations or appear in public monitoring systems, the group
The Chinese ships were estimated to
have caught nearly as much squid in
those years as Japan and South Korea
combined: more than 160,000 metric
tons, worth more than $440 million, the
report said. Fewer squid are now being caught in
South Korean and Japanese waters be-
cause so many are caught near North
Korea before the creatures can migrate
south, according to Global Fishing
Watch and the South Korean govern-
Last year, 800 Chinese vessels in
North Korean waters brought in $240
million worth of squid, Global Fishing Watch said. All told, about $560 million
worth has been caught by Chinese boats
since the United Nations sanctions took
effect in September 2017, the group esti-
The scale of the fleet involved in this
illegal fishing is about one-third the size
of Chinas entire distant-water fishing
fleet, said Mr. Park, the Global Fishing
Watch scientist.
The group did not estimate how much
North Korea had been earning from the
sale of fishing rights. But the heavy Chi-
nese presence indicates that it remains
an important source of illicit income for
the North, as the country struggles un-
der sanctions and the fallout from the
coronavirus. A 2016 study by the Korea Maritime
Institute, a think tank in South Korea,
concluded that each Chinese vessel
spent $30,000 to $80,000 for an annual
permit to fish in North Korean waters. If
the numbers reported by Global Fishing
Watch are correct, that would mean tens
of millions of dollars per year for the
North, if not more. A more recent estimate came in
March, when the United Nations panel
studying sanctions compliance said an
unidentified member state had reported
that North Korea made $120 million in
2018 by selling fishing rights.
The Norths fishing industry has been
hobbled for decades by its decrepit fleet
and the scarcity of fuel. The country be-
gan opening the rich fishing grounds off
its east coast to Chinese ships in 2004,
choosing to earn foreign currency by
selling the rights, instead of catching
and exporting the squid itself, according
to the Korea Maritime Institute report. Even as Chinese boats trawl the
Norths waters, its leader, Kim Jong-un,
has been urging his people to catch more
State media have often reported Mr.
Kims visits to fishing towns, where he
has been said to marvel at bales of
frozen fish stacked like gold bars and
to claim that the socialist fragrance of
the sea made his fatigue go away.
But North Korean fishermen have
been unable to compete with the Chi-
nese boats, which are bigger and use
more powerful electric lights to attract
squid at night, Daily NK, a Seoul-based
website, reported last October, citing an
unidentified source on the Norths east
coast. Despite the dangers, many fishermen
bribe government officials for permis-
sion to make long-distance trips, accord-
ing to Daily NK. Japan has complained
about thousands of North Koreans fish-
ing illegally in its waters, and its Coast
Guard has tried to repel them with wa-
ter cannons. Squid is popular in South Korea and
Japan, as well as in China, where North
Korean smugglers still bring it in across
the border, according to defectors from
the North. China told the panel that while it was
committed to enforcing the sanctions,
its ability to do so was hampered by such
ships use of counterfeit identities. Global Fishing Watch said that al-
though the vessels it identified origi-
nated in China and were assumed to be
owned and operated by Chinese people,
they were likely to be three no ships:
operating with no legitimate registra-
tion, no flag and no license.
Chinese pay North Korea for fishing rights
Defying U.N. ban, they
have caught $560 million
worth of squid since 2017
Chinese fishing boats in Dalian, in northeast Chinas Liaoning Province. Chinese vessels are said to spend $30,000 to $80,000 for annual permits to fish in North Korean waters. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE GETTY IMAGES
The teenage girl emerged as a hero after
a night of carnage that left her familys
hillside home in western Afghanistan
strewn with bodies. Qamar Gul, 15,
fought to her last bullet, gunning down
Taliban attackers who raided the house
and killed her father and mother. In the days after the attack last week,
Afghan social media was full of slick
posters celebrating her as My Hero.
Some users compared her with the
Kurdish women of Kobani, Syria, who
had fought the Islamic State. Local offi-
cials put out pictures of Qamar Gul pos-
ing with her rifle. Afghanistans vice
president praised her for defending
against the enemies of the nation. But the story of her heroism is
steeped in pain, in a culture that often
treats women as property, and in the
confusion of an Afghan war that has
twisted families into knots of complex
loyalties and feuds. One of the attackers she killed was her
own husband, who was fighting on the
Talibans side and apparently seeking
her forcible return after a falling out
with Ms. Guls family, according to rela-
tives and local officials.
As the war in Afghanistan drags on,
the violence has increasingly become lo-
cal. Beyond the headlines of the major
clashes between government forces and
Taliban militants often lies a more com-
plicated reality of local power rivalries,
of a tug of war between crime groups
and drug rings and of communities and
families torn apart. Increasingly, both the pro-govern-
ment and Taliban sides are drawing on
the same pools of local fighters.
In villages and rural districts, the Tal-
iban are not an unknown force they
are mostly the sons and brothers and
husbands everyone there knows. And
the Afghan government has in large
stretches of the country found itself re-
lying on tens of thousands of local mili-
tiamen, called the Public Uprising, to try
to hold territory. They often bear the
brunt of the fighting, but their casualties
rarely make it into official records of the
toll of the war on Afghan forces. Ghor Province, where the incident
happened, has been restive in recent
years and particularly brutal for wom-
en. In government-controlled areas, young girls have been bartered for
dowries. Graphic videos of stoning and
flogging have repeatedly come out of
the Taliban-controlled areas.
The village in the district of Taiwara
where Qamar Guls home was raided
lies on the edge, near where govern-
ment control gives way to the Taliban.
But the familys fate had been inter-
twined with violence long before the re-
cent battle. Qamar Guls mother, Fatima, had
married twice before ending up with her
father, Shah Gul Rahimi, according to
Zabihullah Rahmani, a relative. They
had two children together, Qamar Gul,
and her 12-year-old brother Habibullah.
In recent years, Mr. Rahimi, who was
just 40, took on his late brothers respon-
sibilities as a community elder in Tai-
wara. He frequently helped with the Lo-
cal Uprising militia fending off Taliban
attacks, joining them in their battles.
But it wasnt clear whether he was also
on a government payroll the militias
are paid by the Afghan intelligence
agency and are provided with ammuni-
tion or whether he was just helping in
his role as a local elder. About four years ago, Mr. Rahimi
struck an agreement with a local man
from an adjacent village named Mo-
hamed Naeem: Mr. Naeem would
marry Mr. Rahimis daughter, Qamar, as
his second wife. In exchange, Mr.
Rahimi would take Mr. Naeems teenage
niece as his second wife. Since both girls were young, they
waited two years before making the
marriages official in separate wedding
ceremonies. Mr. Naeem and Mr. Rahimi
had grown so close that when Mr.
Naeem needed a loan of about $3,000,
Mr. Rahimi became his guarantor. Just how Mr. Naeem joined the Tal-
iban is not exactly clear. But relatives and local officials said it happened over
the course of the past two years, as his
private life started falling apart and he
was chased for his debts.
Mr. Naeem, who had taken his new
bride to his old home, right away got into
arguments with his parents, said the rel-
ative, Mr. Rahmani. After one fight, Mr.
Naeem took Qamar Gul and left, first
staying with his in-laws and then mov-
ing his home to neighboring Helmand
Province, a Taliban stronghold. He swore that he would never return
to his own village, said Abdullah, Qa-
mar Guls maternal uncle. Naeem lived
with his father-in-law for a while. He
was given a room at the house. But the
people he owed money to now kept
knocking on his father-in-laws door. The trouble seems to have begun
when Mr. Rahimis new wife visited her
family and refused to return to her hus-
band, according to the two relatives. In
return, when Qamar Gul came home,
her father held her until the family re-
turned his wife and Mr. Naeem paid the
$3,000 debt. After several rounds of me-
diation with local elders, Mr. Rahimi
agreed a compromise: He would let Qa-
mar Gul return only if Mr. Naeem paid
the debt. But Mr. Naeem had other thoughts:
He had grown close to a ruthless Taliban
commander in Ghor who would help
him take Qamar Gul home without pay-
ing any money. They chose the early
hours after midnight on July 17 for a sur-
prise attack, with about a dozen of their
fighters surrounding the hillside home
and barging in. When Mr. Rahimi came out of the hall-
way to see what was happening, he was
given no chance to run for his weapon.
He had six bullet wounds. When Qamar
Guls mother, Fatima, came out to cry for
help after her husband was shot, she
was also shot, three times.
Qamar Gul grabbed her fathers
weapon, ran to the doorway, and began
spraying at the attackers in the yard.
She killed two of them and wounded the
senior Taliban commander. The Taliban
fled the scene as neighbors and local mi-
litia fighters began arriving.
Two days after the attack, the Ghor
provincial governor put out a statement
saying Qamar Gul and her 12-year-old
brother had defeated an offensive at-
tack by the Taliban terrorist group
and forced the bloodthirsty Taliban to
flee, leaving behind two of their dead in
the battlefield. The statement attached graphic pho-
tos of two bodies. One was Mr. Naeem,
Qamar Guls husband, the chest of his
embroidered tunic soaked in blood.
Killing Taliban, killing family
A teenage girls heroism
shows how the Afghan war
is now increasingly local
Qamar Gul, 15, fought off Taliban attack-
ers who killed her parents.
GHOR DISTRICT GOVERNMENT wiring is faulty and could start a fire,
they say, and plaster occasionally falls
from the high ceiling, endangering pa-
They say the new cathedral will be a
reproduction of the old one, but will hold
more people. Mr. Rama, who served for eight years
as the World Banks lead economist in
Vietnam, has long taken an interest in
Bui Chu. Acting in a personal capacity,
he met with church leaders and pro-
posed acquiring land next to the
churchs property, which would provide
room for both buildings.
Mr. Rama, now based in Washington
as the World Banks chief economist for
Latin America and the Caribbean, of-
fered to pay for the land and to start a
global fund-raising campaign to raise
the estimated $3 million to restore the
old cathedral.
Saving the ancient Bui Chu Cathe-
dral in a way that allows building the
new church and welcoming large num-
bers of parishioners is entirely feasible,
said Mr. Rama, who also is project direc-
tor of a sustainable urban development
center with the Vietnam Academy of So-
cial Sciences. Future generations will
be forever grateful to the fathers if they
make an enlightened decision. To his disappointment, church lead-
ers rejected his offer.
The historic Bui Chu Cathedral in Viet-
nam, a 135-year-old Roman Catholic
church considered an architectural gem
by many, is being demolished to make
room for a larger cathedral despite ef-
forts to save it.
This week, workers had removed tiles
from the floor and dismantled much of
the roof of the cathedral, which is in Nam
Dinh Province, about two hours south of
Hanoi. A high fence had been erected
around the building, known for its un-
usual blend of Baroque and Vietnamese
architecture, and demolition will most
likely be completed by early next
This would amount to an irremedi-
able loss of heritage for Vietnam, for the
world, and for the Catholic Church it-
self, said Martin Rama, a top economist
with the World Bank who worked to
save the building. Indeed, the ancient
Bui Chu Cathedral embodies an amaz-
ing intersection of culture, history and
architecture. As Vietnams population and econ-
omy have grown, the country has lost
much of its cultural heritage with the de-
struction or aggressive renovation
of numerous pagodas, temples and
French colonial buildings.
While the Communist government of-
ficially opposes organized religion, it
has reached a state of détente with reli-
gious leaders, allowing them to hold
services and to keep their facilities. It
declined last year to declare Bui Chu a
heritage site, which would have pre-
vented its demolition. Nor has it inter-
vened in plans to build a new cathedral. In many parts of Vietnam, the Catho-
lic Church has been a leader in historic
preservation, making the cathedrals
demolition unusual.
You would rate the church as one of
the most successful defenders of her-
itage around the country, said Mark
Bowyer, a longtime Vietnam resident
and travel blogger who visited Bui Chu
last year for his website, Rusty Com-
pass. In this case, the church is commit-
ting an act of self-harm.
Bui Chus priests have said that the
old structure must be razed because it is
in dangerous condition. The electrical Bishop Thomas Vu Dinh Hieu de-
clined Wednesday to discuss his rejec-
tion of Mr. Ramas offer or comment on
Bui Chus demolition, saying only, We
do not want to talk with the media. The Bui Chu diocese is where Catholi-
cism first took hold in Vietnam more
than 400 years ago, long before French
or Communist rule. The area draws few tourists but re-
mains the heartland of Catholic Vietnam
today. Bui Chu church is the birthplace of
Vietnamese Catholicism, said Nguyen
Hanh Nguyen, an associate professor at
the University of Architecture in Ho Chi
Minh City. It should be recognized as a
heritage site and preserved in its origi-
nal state. The reluctance of Bui Chus priests to
speak to the media is not surprising.
When they sought to raze the cathedral
last year, they were stung by public criti-
cism and their plans were stalled. A group of 25 architects petitioned the
prime minister and other government
officials in May 2019 to declare the ca-
thedral a heritage site. On inspecting Bui Chu at the time, the
architects found that it was only slightly
damaged and was in good enough condi-
tion to last a long time, if reinforced. Based on the image of the recent dis-
mantlement, said Ms. Nguyen, who
was one of the 25 architects, the wood-
en structure of the church is still in good
condition, not a serious degradation.
Vietnam losing historic cathedral
Chau Doan contributed reporting from
Despite strong opposition,
Catholic Church begins to
raze an architectural gem
BY RICHARD C. PADDOCKPriests said the 135-year-old Bui Chu Cathedral in Nam Dinh Province, Vietnam, was in
poor condition, but last year a group of 25 architects challenged that assessment.
The structure blends Baroque
and Vietnamese architecture.

militant factions. They have tortured
some of the authoritys critics, human
rights groups say.
Still, polls show that Palestinians
trust the security forces more than the
authoritys leaders. But if the dream of
statehood is dashed, the officers who
have risked their lives and reputations
for it have much to lose. You say, State, state, state, and now
the other side is saying you wont get
one, said Akram Rajoub, a longtime
commander in Preventive Security, a
domestic intelligence agency, who is
now the governor of Jenin. Where have
all these state-building efforts gone?
Where has all this investment gone?
What are we going to tell our children?
He was just a boy in the village of Al
Qubeiba, Col. Saed Zahran said, when he
first grasped how little Israelis cared
about crime among Palestinians. Two
children were killed. Israeli detectives
arrived, scribbled a few notes and left.
The crime remains unsolved. He said the memory inspired him to
join the police force when it was estab-
lished in the 1990s, believing that Pales-
tinians had to rely on themselves for law
and order. Yet even as commander of the
Nablus police district, Colonel Zahran,
51, has only limited ability to deliver pro-
tection and justice. Security cooperation with Israel, Pal-
estinians say, was not as mutual as the
term suggests. The West Bank is ruled under Israeli
military law. While Israeli forces go any-
where at will, Palestinian forces needed
permission to enter places where Israel
had jurisdiction. When Israeli forces en-
tered a Palestinian area, Palestinian of-
ficers were warned to clear out to
avoid potential friction or the embar-
rassment of being seen with the Israelis. Palestinian officers insist that they
raced to comply with Israeli requests for
assistance, while urgent Palestinian re-
quests for help too often languished un-
We often have disputes between
families, Colonel Zahran said, in which
the police are called to intervene. But
these frequently occur in places the po-
lice cannot go without Israeli approval. In a typical case last year, the police
were called to defuse a violent dispute in
the village of Haris but waited hours for
approval. Colonel Zahran said he gave
up and drove there in civilian clothes, in
an unmarked car, without his sidearm. Nowhere is the asymmetry more
frustrating, he said, than when his offi-
cers refer cases to Israel for prosecu-
tion, only to see them dropped.
Last August, an officer investigating
the destruction of a shop in Azun Atma
was run down by two Israelis accused of
the crime. Video of the hit-and-run
shows the officer thrown into the air.
Colonel Zahran said he had turned over
a complete file to the Israeli authori-
ties, who arrested the two but released
them days later without explanation. What about the Palestinian police of-
ficer who was almost killed? he said. In April, he said, an Israeli citizen was
caught in Qalqilya with 700 grams of
hashish. Under the Oslo Accords, Israeli
citizens must be turned over to Israel.
But the Israeli authorities set the man
free, raising outrage in Qalqilya at
Colonel Zahran and his men. Honestly, how am I supposed to de-
fend what we did? he said. Israeli officials did not respond to
Colonel Zahrans specific accusations.
But they acknowledge that West Bank
cases are often dropped when the vic-
tims are Palestinian. Broadly speaking,
they say, Israel prioritizes counterter-
rorism over crime-fighting.
All of which leaves officials like Colo-
nel Zahran feeling pained and power-
less. Palestinian citizens feel Im not able
to protect them, he said.
While the police are ridiculed for their
subservient relationship with the Israeli
authorities, Palestinians can at least see
some benefit in law enforcement. Intelli-
gence officers have been viewed with
suspicion for working with Israel in
cracking down on groups like Hamas. Arrests of militants often trigger an
avalanche of online vitriol aimed at the
intelligence forces, said the senior offi-
cer in Jenin. Every officer needs to have the con-
versation with his kids, he said, to jus-
tify his work. Id tell them that we were all under occupation, that we were offi-
cers serving our people first, and that if
we were not there, our people would suf-
He said he assured his children that
he was laying the groundwork for an
eventual Palestinian state, which meant
arresting militants who threatened to
destabilize the West Bank. Yet that work can suffer because of
the power imbalance with Israel. When
he was conducting a major arrest opera-
tion in Jenin, he said, he discovered Is-
raeli forces there, too. The Palestinians
had to withdraw. They say, Our work is
more important, he said.
Sometimes they dont tell us theyre
coming, he added. Sometimes they
only tell us when they arrive. Israeli officials say they prefer to co-
operate, but their incursions are often
prompted by the unwillingness of Pales-
tinian intelligence to arrest militants
aligned with Fatah.
Its a fact that we have more power,
but weve tried to not make that ex-
plicit, said Nitzan Alon, a retired major
general who commanded Israeli forces
in the West Bank. With security coordination halted,
Palestinian officers say they are holding
their heads a bit higher. But the severing
of ties sometimes forces them into dan-
gerous workarounds. Having stopped seeking clearance to
cross Israeli checkpoints, Palestinian of-
ficers are changing the plates on their
cars, traveling in plainclothes and un-
armed and inventing cover stories
about their destinations.
Everyone in Palestinian security seems
to have a story or two of his own abase-
ment. For Col. Ahed Hasayen, a police
spokesman in Ramallah, it came at a
conference with the Israeli police in
Jaffa. His Israeli counterpart asked to
take a photograph with him. Colonel
Hasayen demurred, but the Israeli in-
sisted that the photograph would be
only a keepsake.
His phone rang 90 minutes later, on
the drive back to Bethlehem. Shame on
you, he said a friend told him. The photo
was circulating on social media. After
that, how can you trust them again?
Colonel Hasayen said. Hamas said I
shouldve worn a suicide belt. For Major Jamhour, it was the night of
Feb. 2, 2018, when a call came from
headquarters: An Israeli motorist had
made a wrong turn into the town of Abu
Dis. An angry crowd had trapped him.
Major Jamhour and his men arrived
in minutes. They surrounded the Is-
raelis Toyota and a trailer it was pulling,
plastered with Israeli flags, as young
Palestinians pelted it with stones. One officer was struck in the fore-
head. When someone threw a firebomb
into the Toyota, Major Jamhour said, the
officers hustled the Israeli into their own
vehicle and the wounded officer climbed
on top of him, shielding him with his
body. The crowd grew to around 200
people, yelling, Give us this man! Ma-
jor Jamhour said. The Palestinian officers kept them at
bay for two hours before Israeli soldiers
and border police arrived. Major
Jamhour said he approached them with
his hands up, announcing himself as a
policeman in Hebrew, Arabic and Eng-
lish. I told them, Your man is safe, he
said, and led the soldiers to the motorist.
But before the Israelis pulled out, Ma-
jor Jamhour said, one of his men
shouted at him to look out: An Israeli
was aiming a rifle at him. I said, Impossible, Major Jamhour
said right before a bullet ripped
through his leg. They didnt shoot the
stone throwers, he said. They shot me,
in a police uniform. The Israeli army confirmed that a sol-
dier had shot Major Jamhour, chalking it
up to confusion.
His family begged him to quit the po-
lice. He refused, but his attitude had
changed. Until that night, he said, he
had never hesitated to step in to protect
vulnerable civilians Jew and Arab
alike. But he no longer feels obligated to
act courageously in defense of Israelis. I went through coordination and
they shot me, he said. Now, theres no
coordination. I will not go to die.
Cost of annexation
for Palestinian police
A Palestinian police officer arguing with Israeli soldiers in his police station during
clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron in 2019. ABED AL HASHLAMOUN/EPA, VIA SHUTTERSTOCKPalestinian security forces hoped
they were building a state.
Israels annexation threat has
thrown that project into doubt.
Ni Nyoman Ayu Sutaryani, a mother of
three, made a steady living for two dec-
ades working as a masseuse and yoga
instructor at Balis luxury hotels and
spas. Now, at 37, she finds herself back
on the farm of her childhood village,
Lalanglinggah, standing precariously at
the top of a tall bamboo ladder, picking
It is not the life that Ms. Ayu had imag-
ined for herself. But on Bali, an Indone-
sian island that depends heavily on tour-
ism, she is one of thousands of workers
who have been forced by the coro-
navirus pandemic to return to their vil-
lages and traditional ways of making a
living. This is my first time being jobless,
and sometimes I want to cry, Ms. Ayu
said. Everything is returning to the old
time. Thats what we have to do rather
than starving. Like Ms. Ayu, many have returned to
their family farms, helping to plant and
harvest crops. Others feed their families
by digging for clams in shallow Benoa
Bay or by casting fishing lines out to sea
from one of Balis deserted beaches.
In a sign of how far the economy of the
island has declined, some rural resi-
dents have turned to bartering fruit and
vegetables so that they can save their
limited cash to buy necessities. Bali, with a population of 4.4 million
and eight times the physical size of Sin-
gapore, is Indonesias tourism engine,
boasting spectacular beaches, terraced
rice fields, scenic temples and ideal
weather. Largely Hindu in a predomi-
nantly Muslim nation, Bali carved out
its own identity as a tourist destination
decades ago and was once widely
viewed from abroad as an independent
country. Hoping to capitalize on the Bali
name, the central government began a
campaign last year to create 10 new
Bali destinations. More than half of Balis economy de-
pends directly on tourism, and a quarter
is engaged in tourism-related activities,
such as transporting visitors and sup-
plying food to hotels and restaurants.
Last year, Bali attracted more than six
million tourists from abroad and 10 mil-
lion from Indonesia. The number of hotels keeps growing;
some international chains operate more
than two dozen. President Trump has
gotten in on the act in partnership with a
politically connected billionaire to build
a Trump-branded hotel and golf resort. The economy has suffered through
other disasters: the 2002 Bali bombing,
the 2003 SARS epidemic and the 2017
eruption of the Mount Agung volcano.
But the coronavirus outbreak has been
the most devastating.
In March, Indonesia banned foreign
visitors from the worst-hit countries
and, weeks later, extended the ban to all
foreign tourists. In May, the government
banned domestic tourists from traveling
to Bali, although officials and business
travelers with a negative coronavirus
test were allowed. Nevertheless, Indonesia has sur-
passed China in the number of cases to
become the country hit hardest in East
Asia, with nearly 92,000 cases and 4,500
deaths. On Bali, the number of cases has
more than doubled, to 2,934, and deaths
have quadrupled, to 46, in a little more
than three weeks. The travel restrictions have slammed
Balis tourism industry. During the first
half of the year, the island received 1.1
million foreign tourists, almost all of
them before the pandemic. That was a
drop from nearly 2.9 million during the
same period last year. Comparative fig-
ures for domestic tourists were not
Impatient to revive the economy,
Balis governor, I Wayan Koster, began
gradually reopening the island this
month, including restaurants and popu-
lar beaches. He hopes to bring back do-
mestic tourists to Bali starting next
week and to attract foreign tourists be-
ginning Sept. 11. For a generation, young people have
been drawn from villages in northern
Bali to work in the tourist centers,
mainly in southern Bali. Many attend
tourism vocational schools before tak-
ing jobs in hotels, restaurants and tour
agencies. Tourism has become the dominant
work for most people, said Ricky Putra,
chairman of the Bali Hotels Association. The pandemic has forced hotels and
other tourist facilities to lay off some
workers and cut the pay and hours of others. Larger hotels have kept skeleton
staffs on duty, rotating workers in for a
week or two at a time, while allowing
them to make a little money and return
to their villages.
One local leader, Dewa Komang Yudi,
said he welcomed the return of tourism
workers to his community, Tembok Vil-
lage, in far northern Bali. He said that
about 400 unemployed workers wait-
ers, spa employees, drivers and cooks
helpers had returned to the village of
7,000 and were growing food on land
that had been fallow for lack of workers.
He hopes many will stay permanently. Deurbanization suddenly occurred
because of the pandemic, he said.
There are more people now in north
Bali than in south Bali, because many of
them returned to their villages. This is
what we have been dreaming about. Mr. Yudi, 33, who himself attended a
tourism academy and used to work as a
hotel butler, said Bali should devote
more resources to farming, a more sus-
tainable enterprise. Instead, it has be-
come reliant on tourism. People are depending on it like
opium, he said. Tourism is fragile, and
we have gone too far. We have been
abandoning the fundamental things that
mobilize the economy. Across the island, some communities
give food aid to the unemployed, such as
rice, instant noodles, cooking oil and
sugar. But recipients say it is not enough
to live on. Many also have debts, like in-
stallment payments for motorbikes, a common mode of transportation on the
At Benoa Bay, on the southern end of
the island, low tide attracts dozens of
people from villages nearby to dig for
clams, using rakes made of scrap wood,
nails or even their bare hands and feet.
On a good day, one can collect more than
a pound of clams. Kadek Merta, 34, who was digging for
clams recently, said he had been a hotel
steward but had not worked since
March. I feel hollow, he said. There is
no job. I can only survive by depending
on the sea. Agung Yoga, 39, a junior chef, said he
used to fish as a hobby along Balis
southern beaches. But now, unem-
ployed for the first time, he is fishing as a
matter of survival for himself and his
family. If this situation continues until
next year, I am hopeless, he said. May-
be we wont be able to eat.
Ms. Ayu preferred working as a
masseuse, because she earned a decent
income and it was easier. Harvesting
cloves in Lalanglinggah Village from the
tops of trees that grow more than 60 feet
tall can be hazardous. But living in the
village, on the southwestern coast of
Bali, a few miles from the sea, has its ad-
vantages, too. From the top of a homemade ladder,
Ms. Ayu could see the beach and the for-
est, and feel a gentle breeze flowing in
from the Bali Strait. I feel serene, she
said during a break in picking. In the
city, it is crowded. Having this activity
calms my mind. More important, the return to tradi-
tional village life has reunited relatives
who usually see one another only on im-
portant holidays. I earn more working in tourism, Ms.
Ayu said. But on the positive side, God
has given us this situation so we can be
Bali reverts to a former age L ALANGLINGGAH VILLAGE,
With tourism on hold,
workers have returned
to traditional rural life
A fish market in Kuta, above, and an
abandoned tourist hut near Benoa Bay,
left. More than half of Balis economy
depends directly on tourism, which has
been curtailed since the outbreak of the
Some rural residents have turned
to bartering fruit and vegetables
so that they can save their
limited cash to buy necessities.

Last week, as Dr. Emily Wroe left her
home in Boston and drove west to see
her parents in Idaho, she watched as
signs of the pandemic became fewer and
farther between.
After she left Ohio, customers at gas
stations no longer wore masks. In Ne-
braska, when she needed a repair to her
truck, the mechanic seemed to look at
her strangely because she was wearing
one. In Montana, there were no masks in
sight, and motorcyclists clustered in
groups of 20. The farther she was from the East
Coast, the more she found Americans
treating the threat of the virus as far-
away, and not important. I wasnt surprised, but it is striking,
said Dr. Wroe, who spent the spring or-
ganizing contact tracers for Massachu-
setts. Were in the middle of a global
pandemic, and there are a lot of towns
and businesses along the way where
nothing has changed. Six months after the coronavirus cri-
sis was first detected in the United
States, the Northeast stands in sharp
contrast with the rest of the nation. Along the East Coast, from Delaware
through Maine, new case reports re-
main at a low level, a small fraction of
their April peak. Six of the countrys 11
states with flat or falling case levels are
in that Northeastern corridor. New York State announced on
Wednesday that slightly more than 700
people were hospitalized with the virus,
the fewest since mid-March and a huge
drop from a peak of more than 18,000
people. Deaths have also slowed signifi-
cantly, hovering around 20 a day for the
past six days, compared with the nearly
800 fatalities in a single day at its peak.
Its acting like Europe, Dr. Ashish
Jha, the director of the Harvard Global
Health Institute, said of the Northeast-
ern United States.
Like Europe, the Northeast suffered a
devastating wave of illnesses and
deaths in March and April, and state
leaders responded, after some hesita-
tion, with aggressive lockdowns and big
investments in testing and tracing ef-
forts. Residents have largely followed
rules and been surprisingly supportive
of tough measures, even at the cost of
economic pain.
Dr. Jha said the difference in regional
trajectories was so pronounced that by
the time flu season rolls around in the
late fall, I would not be surprised if
what we have is two countries, one
which is neck-deep in coronavirus, its
hospitals overwhelmed, and another
part of the country that is struggling a
little, but largely doing OK with their
It is also true that the Northeast re-
mains the corner of America that has suffered most from the virus. New Jer-
sey, New York, Connecticut, Massachu-
setts and Rhode Island have reported
the countrys most deaths per capita
over the course of the pandemic, with
more than 61,000 combined. And the
economic wounds from prolonged shut-
downs are deep: Massachusettss un-
employment rate in June climbed to 17.4
percent, the worst in the country, ac-
cording to federal data released last
But polls, so far, suggest that voters in
the Northeast are prepared to tolerate
prolonged economic pain to stop the
spread of the virus. Governors from the
states that were hit early in the pan-
demic have sustained the highest ap-
proval ratings in the country.
And in May, when a poll by Suffolk
University Political Research Center
asked Massachusetts residents how
long they could endure the hardships of
a shutdown, 38 percent of those sur-
veyed answered indefinitely.
This isnt an economic policy, this is
life or death, said David Paleologos, the
centers director. That is at the core of
why people are saying, Ill do whatever
it takes.
The crisis has drawn out key regional
differences in how Americans view the
role of government in their lives, said
Wendy J. Schiller, head of the political science department at Brown Univer-
sity in Providence, R.I. The Northeast,
she said, with its 400-year tradition of lo-
calized, participatory government, has
been less affected by decades of anti-
government rhetoric.
In New England and the Northeast,
it is easier to say, Lets put on a mask
and lock down, were all in this together,
we know each other, she said. Its this
reservoir of belief that the government
exists to be good. Four months ago, all of the New Eng-
land governors were scrambling to con-
tain the spread of the virus. They had
hesitated to impose shutdowns in early
March, when many in the public health
community were urging immediate ac-
tion, Dr. Jha said. It took longer than it should, he said.
But the responses that followed were
aggressive. Gov. Charlie Baker, the Re-
publican leader of Massachusetts, de-
cided after a late-night phone call with
Jim Yong Kim, co-founder of the non-
profit Partners in Health, to budget $55 million for contact-tracing programs
that would recruit and train a corps of
1,900 newly minted public health work-
ers. The program was running within
I certainly felt under the gun and I
know many of my colleagues did to
make decisions with less than perfect in-
formation, Governor Baker said. By this month, tracers were able to
reach 90 percent of contacts within 24 hours. The number of new cases had
fallen so steeply that the corps was re-
duced to 500.
There was a similar scramble to ac-
quire personal protective equipment,
which included chartering six flights
from China to carry shipments of masks.
In early April, Robert K. Kraft, the
owner of the New England Patriots,
transported a million N95 masks from
China to Boston on a team plane. Theres all kinds of things that hap-
pened over this period of time that were
unusual decisions and risky ones, but
for most of us, we felt we were doing
what we had to do, said Governor
Baker, whose job approval ratings rose
to 81 percent in late June, according to a
Suffolk University poll. Governor Baker of Massachusetts
said the high level of compliance with
quarantine measures was natural, given
how badly the region had been battered. Like everybody else, I know people
who have been directly affected by this
thing, he said. Ive had very close
friends almost die. Ive had good friends
who have lost family members because
of it. I went 100-odd days without seeing
my father because hes 92 years old and
in an assisted living facility. It is not certain what the months
ahead will hold for the Northeast. A new
surge of cases in the South and the West
has spread, and as of this week, cases
were rising in 41 states. The number of
people hospitalized for the coronavirus
across the country was nearing an earli-
er peak in the spring, according to the
Covid Tracking Project, a volunteer or-
ganization. Among states where cases
were slightly rising in recent days were
Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
In New York, the drop in cases has
held while the state has gone through a
gradual reopening process, one that be-
gan with officials warning that they
would not hesitate to restore restric-
tions if the virus showed signs of return-
ing. Nearly two months after the state
began reopening, about 1 percent of all
its Covid-19 tests are positive. Dr. Jha said he was optimistic that
Northeastern states could maintain con-
trol over the viruss spread through the
summer. I think theyre watching
whats happening in the South and
theyre horrified, he said. Gov. Janet Mills of Maine, a Demo-
crat, sounded cautious. She said officials
in her state were exhaling, but safely,
with masks. The last few weeks, in particular,
have felt good, but were not out of the
woods, she said. The coming months will bring new
waves of difficulty as well, as the eco-
nomic impact of the spring shutdowns
ripples outward. Of all the difficult decisions that she
faced this year, Governor Mills said,
none has been more gut-wrenching
than her first stay-at-home order. Nobody wants to be the governor
who puts the kibosh on graduations,
weddings, beach parties, bars, she said.
Nobody wants to be the governor the
tourist industry rails against. Nobody
wants to be that governor.
A different picture in the Northeast
Its acting like Europe,
an expert said of the
regions virus response
Mitch Smith contributed reporting from
Chicago, and Michael Gold from New
Observers say the Northeast has been
committed to containing the virus, as
shown in scenes like, top, diners at a
Portland, Maine, restaurant observing
social distancing and, right, a testing
program in Brattleboro, Vt.
Northeast, it is easier to say,
Lets put on a mask and lock
down; were all in this together.

Two months after four of its officers
were charged with killing George Floyd,
an unarmed Black man, the Minneapo-
lis Police Department is reeling, with po-
lice officers leaving the job in large num-
bers, crime surging and politicians plan-
ning a top-to-bottom overhaul of the
force. Veteran officers say that morale
within the department is lower than
they have ever experienced. Some offi-
cers are scaling back their policing ef-
forts, concerned that any contentious in-
teractions on the street could land them
in trouble. And many others are calling
it quits altogether.
Its almost like a nuclear bomb hit
the city, and the people who didnt perish
are standing around, Officer Rich
Walker Sr., a 16-year Minneapolis police
veteran and union official, said of the
mood within the department. Im still
surprised that weve got cops showing
up to work, to be honest.
Many American police departments
have faced challenges in retention and
recruitment in recent years, amid grow-
ing criticism of police abuses. But the
woes in Minneapolis and elsewhere
have only grown since May, when Mr.
Floyd was killed after the police de-
tained him. Nearly 200 officers have applied to
leave the Minneapolis Police Depart-
ment because of what they describe as
post-traumatic stress, said Ronald F.
Meuser Jr., a lawyer representing the of-
ficers. The prospect that a department
of about 850 could lose about 20 percent
of its force in the coming months has
prompted major concern. Already, about 65 officers have left the
department this year, surpassing the
typical attrition rate of 45 a year, Chief
Medaria Arradondo told the City Coun-
cil during a meeting last week. Dozens of other officers have taken temporary
leave since Mr. Floyds death, complicat-
ing the staffing picture.
Minneapoliss police force has long
had a troubled relationship with the
community. Excessive force complaints
have become commonplace, especially
by Black residents, who account for
about 20 percent of the citys population
but are more likely to be pulled over, ar-
rested and have force used against them
than white residents. Cmdr. Scott Gerlicher, head of the Spe-
cial Operations and Intelligence Divi-
sion, wrote in an email to supervisors
this month that, Due to significant
staffing losses of late, the department
was looking at all options for respond-
ing to calls, including shift, schedule and
organizational changes. The email, a copy of which was ob-
tained by The New York Times, also said
the department would not be going
back to business as usual. The guiding
principle going forward, Commander
Gerlicher wrote, would be to do no
harm, and he highlighted potential re-
forms, including, Looking for reason-
able and safe alternatives to police serv-
ices in some areas. Front line supervisors play the most
critical role in making meaningful
changes, he wrote. Dont take this
lightly. With fewer officers to patrol, some of
those on the streets find themselves
stretched thin and working longer
hours. Complaints about the lack of sup-
port from politicians, community mem-
bers and even department commanders
are part of the daily conversation in
precincts and squad cars. For years, police departments nation-
wide have faced a work force crisis, ac-
cording to a report published last year
by the Police Executive Research For-
um. In a survey of more than 400 depart-
ments nationwide, the forum found that
63 percent of them had recorded a slight
or significant decrease in the number of
applicants over the previous five years,
41 percent had growing staff shortages
and nearly half reported that officer
tenures were decreasing.
The current climate differs from six
years ago when the police killing of
Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., sparked national unrest in that de-
mands are not just to reform police de-
partments, but to get rid of them, said
Chuck Wexler, the executive director of
the forum.
Many activists see an overdue reck-
oning for an institution that they say has
long gotten away with brutalizing peo-
ple of color with impunity. Policing as an institution has largely
been untouchable, despite the many,
many, many failings that are cultural,
said Jeremiah Ellison, a Minneapolis
City Council member who supports de-
funding the police. Here we are in a mo-
ment where people all over the country
are saying, No, no, no, no, no, we are in-
terested in real accountability.
Instead of embracing change, Mr. Elli-
son added, the police are saying, Youre
picking on us. You dont know how hard
our job is, and were going home.
Several officers in Minneapolis said
they felt as if they all were being ster-
eotyped because of Derek Chauvin, the
white former officer who knelt on Mr.
Floyds neck for more than eight min-
utes before Mr. Floyd died.
If anything has the propensity to have a violent interaction, we already
know were judged before they even
hear the facts, said Officer Walker,
whose stopping of a motorist 11 years
ago led to a lawsuit that the city settled
for $235,000 after several responding of-
ficers punched and kicked the driver in
an episode captured on video.
To Sasha Cotton, the director of the Of-
fice of Violence Prevention in Minne-
apolis, there is a cruel irony to officers
saying they feel stereotyped. Her office
regularly works with Black men and
boys to try to keep them out of violence. Our officers are experiencing what
so often our young men and boys, who
we service through the program, say
they feel, she said. They feel like they
are being judged based on the behavior
of some of their peers.
Minneapolis officers say that much of their frustration is rooted in an uncer-
tainty over what comes next. A majority
of City Council members have pledged
to defund the Police Department, and
they are in the process of trying to re-
place the agency with a new public
safety department.
Many officers say they feel as if city
leaders and some residents have turned
their backs on them, making them less
inclined to go above and beyond what
they need to do, said Officer Walker, the
union official.
Cops have not been to the work level
of before, but its not a slowdown, he
added. Theyre just not being as proac-
tive because they know theyre not sup-
ported in case something bad happens. Officers said they were also con-
cerned about their job security.
Sgt. Anna Hedberg, a 14-year Minne-
apolis police veteran and board member
of the Minneapolis Police Federation,
the union representing officers, said a
colleague recently told her he had an-
other job opportunity. He has been on
the force for six years, but it takes 10
years to be fully vested in his pension, so
he was unsure whether he should leave. I told him to leave, because hes not
happy, Sergeant Hedberg said.
The tensions between the city and its
Police Department come as crime is on
the rise. There have been 16 homicides
since June 1, more than twice as many as
during the same period last year. Violent
crime is up by 20 percent compared with
the same stretch a year ago. Experts say
there are many reasons for the spike,
not just police staffing levels. Alondra Cano, a City Council member
who supports defunding the police, said
that any change to the department
would take time and that officers would
not lose their jobs overnight. It would be
better for everyone officers included
if they worked together toward a tran-
sition, she said. Many officers are on edge in part be-
cause they believe that Chief Arradondo
and other senior department leaders
have not provided clear direction to the
rank and file, Sergeant Hedberg said. Theyre waking up the next day: Is
it going to be the day I get transferred?
Is it the day my units going to be dis-
solved? she said. People are con-
cerned about it.
John Elder, a spokesman for the de-
partment, said in an email: We have
not heard those complaints; in fact I
have received compliments from staff
about the support from the front office. While many officers express anxiety
about the future, Officer Charles Adams
III said he supported the efforts of Chief
Arradondo, the first Black officer to lead
the force. Although Officer Adams has felt un-
supported by the community and de-
moralized at times especially after he
was removed from his job as a school re-
source officer when the school district
ended its contract with the Police De-
partment he said thoughts of leaving
the force never crossed his mind. Now is not the time for us to run
away, said Officer Adams, a 19-year vet-
eran and native of the citys predomi-
nantly Black North Side. Im a Black face. I can be out there,
he added. I wear blue, but lets talk:
What do you want to see done? How
can I help you? I think its my opportu-
nity to give people what theyve been
asking for.
Minneapolis police reel
after Floyd killing and face
a surge of departures
BY JOHN ELIGON Rich Walker Sr., a 16-year veteran, said
that he was still surprised that weve got
cops showing up to work.
Charles Adams III, a 19-year veteran, said
he has embraced being a Black face on
Its almost like a nuclear
bomb hit the city, and the
people who didnt perish
are standing around.
Amid city upheaval, uncertainty about keeping order

ring nuclear holocaust. Our problem is
that we have to be much more clear
about what actions we wont tolerate
and what the consequences will be, said
Representative Jim Langevin, a Rhode
Island Democrat who served on the con-
gressionally created Cyberspace Solari-
um Commission, which recommended a
series of steps to increase deterrence
this year. When it comes to defending
against cyberattacks, Mr. Langevin
said, the Obama administration was
overly cautious and the Trump adminis-
tration is too often shooting from the
In fact, both presidents have often
used the same tools mostly drawn
from a 19th-century diplomatic play-
book that is being applied to a 21st-cen-
tury challenge. It shouldnt be a surprise
that it isnt working. It is a reminder of two things. First, in
the cyberage, closing a diplomatic facili-
ty has the faint ring of the Cold War, but
most of the attacks on American corpo-
rations, laboratories and the govern-
ment are launched from servers outside
American borders. And second, without
firing a bullet or dropping a bomb, an ad-
versary can deliver a crippling setback
to the United States by infiltrating
American computer networks, whether
the target is the design for the F-35 war-
plane or a potential coronavirus vac-
cine. To Mr. Trumps credit, orders he is-
sued two summers ago have resulted in
more aggressive pushback, what the
National Security Agency and the
United States Cyber Command call a
strategy of defend forward. That
means they go deep into an adversarys
computer networks, sometimes to
strike back, but more often to signal that
an attack will not be cost-free. The central issue is that they need to
know they will pay a price, Mr.
Langevin said. It was the Obama administration that
moved more aggressively to indict cy-
beractors, making public the informa-
tion about who was behind the hacks
that until then had been available only to
those who had the clearance to read
classified intelligence briefings.
It was a long-overdue step, said
John P. Carlin, who spearheaded the
strategy as the chief of the Justice De-
partments national security division.
Mr. Carlin, who later wrote about the ex-
perience in the book Dawn of the Code
War, said that it is a good way to make
the detail public in a credible way, with
the high standard that you believe you
can prove your case beyond a reason-
able doubt.
If you do not do that, Mr. Carlin said in
an interview on Wednesday, the mes-
sage you are sending is that you are de-
criminalizing this activity. Just before
Mr. Carlin left office in 2016, President
Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, the Chi-
nese leader, announced an agreement
that should have ended cybertheft of
corporate data. It worked for a while,
then fell apart. The Chinese militarys
hacking diminished, but the slack was
picked up by operatives of the Chinese
intelligence agencies. On Tuesday, for
example, the Justice Department ac-
cused a pair of Chinese hackers of tar-
geting vaccine development on behalf of
the countrys intelligence service. The lesson may be that while the in-
dictments are necessary, they may not
be sufficient. So when Gen. Paul M.
Nakasone took over as the director of
the N.S.A. and the commander of U.S.
Cyber Command, he turned to more ag-
gressive actions. The N.S.A. shut down
the Internet Research Agency in St. Pe-
tersburg for a few days around the 2018
midterms and sent warnings to Russian
intelligence officers. The best argument for the strategy is
that so far, no one has turned off the
power grid in the United States or con-
ducted a similarly crippling strike. But
when it comes to stealing corporate or
national security secrets, the cost-bene-
fit analysis conducted in Moscow and
Beijing usually comes back with the
same conclusion: The benefits still out-
weigh the costs. While Mr. Trump has periodically
threatened the Chinese with trade sanc-
tions in response to their hacking and
thrown Chinese telecommunications
firms like Huawei out of the country
rather than let them dominate next-gen-
eration telecommunications networks,
he has also periodically suggested these
penalties could be bartered away in a
good trade deal. That does not exactly
establish red lines. There is no evidence of significant
pullback by the Chinese and the Rus-
sians, said Gregory Rattray, who first
dealt with these issues working for
President George W. Bushs National
Security Council and now runs a cyber-
security consulting firm, Next Peak. Its possible that we dont have a bet-
ter option than to create less exposure,
which means focusing on protecting the
data you have and thinking more about
defense, he said.
are unlikely
to disrupt
Presidents are using tools mostly
drawn from a 19th-century
diplomatic playbook to answer
a 21st-century challenge.
Im not losing, President Trump in-
sisted in an interview this week with the
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace after
being presented with the cable net-
works latest poll, which showed former
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with
an eight-point advantage nationally.
The president, who often promotes
poll numbers when they are favorable to
him and even regularly advertises
what he claims is a 96% Approval Rat-
ing in the Republican Party without cit-
ing any source for that questionable sta-
tistic said the public polls that showed
him losing were fake in 2016, and now
theyre even more fake.
There arent many campaign metrics
out there these days to buoy a president
who loves to cite a record he has shat-
tered. He hasnt been able to pack a sta-
dium with supporters since the begin-
ning of the coronavirus pandemic, and
Mr. Biden has out-raised him for two
months in a row. Unlike Hillary Clintons
slim lead in national polls four years
ago, Mr. Bidens lead has averaged near
double digits for more than a month. In response, the Trump campaign has
highlighted the meaningless marker of
boat parades as a measure of voter en-
thusiasm. The most recent shattered
record Mr. Trump has touted online is a
heat index. We may have set a record
for doing such an interview in the heat,
Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday, referring to
his outdoor interview with Mr. Wallace
for Fox News Sunday. It was 100 de-
grees, making things very interesting! Meanwhile, his campaign and his top
advisers have echoed his attempts to
discredit public polls, in an effort to treat
them, dismissively, as an extension of
the media. The Trump team sent a
cease-and-desist letter to CNN after it
published a poll in June that showed Mr.
Trump losing to Mr. Biden. (The net-
work said it stood by its poll.) And in a
recent interview with Newsweek, the
presidents son-in-law Jared Kushner,
who is overseeing Mr. Trumps cam-
paign, dismissed public polling as all
Privately, aides said, Mr. Trump
knows things arent looking good for
him he just thinks the public polls are
overstating the situation. His campaign
does not conduct national polls, but
aides have presented him with internal
data about battleground states that
show a closer race than the public
polling numbers. His pollsters tell him
regularly that he is in a close race and
that there is more polling bias in the
news media today than there was four
years ago, a claim untethered to any
measurable metric. They assure him
that his base is still enthusiastically en-
gaged and that the middle that might
have been planning to vote for him in
March has moved away through no fault
of his own.
That has helped lead Mr. Trump to
think that the public polls are overstat- ing Mr. Bidens advantage, advisers
said, and that they offer only a snapshot
in time. But his internal numbers still
show him trailing Mr. Biden, and he is
worried about his standing. He asks his
advisers with more regularity, What do
we need to do? and grills his friends
about how is it looking? while making
public course corrections, the advisers
Over the past several weeks, he has
changed his stance on promoting
masks, saying that it was patriotic to
wear one, and resuscitated the daily co-
ronavirus news conference both an
acknowledgment that he needs to be
seen as taking the virus seriously again.
On Tuesday evening, campaign aides
circulated a news story from CNBC, in
which the host Jim Cramer said that Mr.
Trumps belated endorsement of face
coverings had sparked a rally in recov-
ery stocks. The president also unceremoniously
demoted his longtime campaign man-
ager, Brad Parscale, and his campaign
has shifted the majority of its advertis- ing resources to a message of law and
order, claiming inaccurately in a new
television ad that if Mr. Biden is elected,
the countrys police departments will
cease to exist.
His political opponents assume that
he knows he is losing, and badly, and
that his blanket dismissal of public
polling as fake is part of a strategy to
sow doubt and confusion in November. But aides have said that even in pri-
vate conversations, Mr. Trump has not
let the reality of his political standing
fully sink in. No ones ever come back from some-
thing like this, said Lee Miringoff, di-
rector of the Marist College Institute for
Public Opinion, referring to Mr. Bidens
polling lead over Mr. Trump.
Indeed, it has been almost 25 years
since Bill Clinton sustained such a gap-
ing advantage over his opponent, Bob
Dole, in 1996.
But when donors and outside allies
have been blunt with Mr. Trump and told
him that he is, in fact, losing, the presi-
dent has pushed back, claiming that
things are getting better and theres still
plenty of time for improvement, accord-
ing to Republicans familiar with these
conversations who spoke on the condi-
tion of anonymity to disclose private ex-
My polls show were getting real
movement since Rushmore, Mr. Trump has told multiple associates, referring to
his Fourth of July address at Mount
Rushmore, in which he framed the cam-
paign as a battle against a new far-left
fascism seeking to wipe out the nations
values and history. White House advis-
ers viewed the speech as a success, if a
temporary one that was quickly over-
taken by Mr. Trumps defense of the
Confederate flag.
In private conversations, Mr. Trump
has also brought up the general election
debates as an opportunity for him to im-
prove his standing in the race, telling al-
lies he expects his opponent to perform
poorly in that format. Mr. Trumps view of his position in the
race is partly a belief in his own myth af-
ter the 2016 victory the prognostica-
tors were all wrong, and he was right
and partly the rosier-than-reality pic-
ture that he hears from certain advisers
about the state of the race.
A president who loves numbers the
stock market when its on the rise, the
monthly job report when it spells a pos-
itive story line for him particularly
loves polls, as in the 2016 primary sea-
son, when he was outpolling his Republi-
can rivals.
He also has a great out if he doesnt
like the polls: November 2016.
His sources for his poll numbers, be-
yond cable television and newspaper ar-
ticles, are his aides, some of whom will- fully distort the electoral landscape to
avoid his wrath going so far as to tell
him hes winning in states like Maine,
where he is losing. Aides said that even
those advisers who are willing to bring
him bad news no longer deliver the full
One of Mr. Trumps main pollsters in
2016, Tony Fabrizio, often had the most
dire predictions and was known not to
shy away from a sky is falling briefing
with the president. But aides said that
everyone has tiptoed around the presi-
dent ever since June, when he threat-
ened to sue Mr. Parscale after he
presented polling data that showed Mr.
Trump trailing Mr. Biden in several cru-
cial states. Now, officials said, even the aides
with more dire predictions will explain
away bad numbers by pointing to out-
side factors and will often blame news
coverage for Mr. Trumps slump.
The campaign disputed that there
was anything terrible they even needed
to brief the president about.
We track 17 states that will decide
who the next president will be and we
trust the methodology, said Tim Mur-
taugh, the campaigns communications
director. In those states, our data shows that
President Trump remains strong
against a defined Joe Biden and is well
positioned for re-election.
Polling gap? Trump refuses to see it
If surveys dont look good
for him, he just writes
them off as being fake
Privately, aides said, Mr. Trump
knows things arent looking good
he just thinks the public polls
are overstating the situation.
The conservation community in the
United States has achieved a longstand-
ing goal, after the House passed and
sent to President Trump a measure that
for the first time guarantees maximum
annual funding for the premiere U.S.
government program to acquire and
preserve land for public use. Fueled by election-year politics, the
legislation was easily approved on a bi-
partisan 310-to-107 vote on Wednesday.
It would allocate $900 million each year
to the Land and Water Conservation
Fund while also providing up to $9.5 bil-
lion over five years to begin clearing up
a mounting maintenance backlog at na-
tional parks. Conservation leaders called the
measure a landmark achievement.
They said it would protect and expand
access to public lands at a time when
Americans are gaining in appreciation
for outdoor activities because of the
pandemic, while providing tens of thou-
sands of jobs in tourism-dependent
communities that have seen their econ-
omies suffer because of reduced travel. Passing the Great American Out-
doors Act is quite simply the most signif-
icant investment in conservation in dec-
ades, said Collin OMara, the president
of the National Wildlife Federation. Its
a huge win for wildlife, our national
treasures, our economy and all Ameri-
cans who enjoy our public lands for sol-
ace, recreation and exercise, especially
amid this pandemic. Established in 1964, the fund is sup-
posed to distribute revenues from oil
and gas drilling royalties paid to the gov-
ernment for public land improvement,
as well as acquisition from willing sell-
ers. But Congress has regularly si-
phoned money away from it. The fund
was made permanent last year, but the
legislation approved Wednesday was
viewed as a critical final step to ensure
its full allotment of dollars. This act provides critical support for
longstanding efforts to protect the pub-
lic lands, restore public places to be
safer and more enjoyable, and increase
access to nature for all communities,
said Jennifer Morris, the chief executive
officer of the Nature Conservancy. This
commitment to conservation will pay
economic, health and society dividends
for generations to come.
The legislation benefited from a con-
fluence of political factors that made its
approval possible. Some Western law-
makers have consistently opposed fully
funding the measure, arguing that it would encourage the government to ac-
quire more private property in their
states when federal holdings are al-
ready too extensive.
Increasing the federal real estate
holdings should not be on anyones to-do
list, said Representative Kevin Hern,
Republican of Oklahoma, who said the
bill ceded too much power to political ap-
pointees and the bureaucracy.
Other critics complained about the
impact on the deficit, and the Trump ad-
ministration budget plan earlier this
year was to eliminate spending on the
program altogether. But two Senate Republicans from the
West facing tough re-election fights
Cory Gardner of Colorado and Steve
Daines of Montana seized on the
measure as beneficial both for their
states and for their election prospects,
and won the backing of their Senate
leadership. Combined with near-univer-
sal support from Democrats, the Repub-
lican backing provided strong momen-
tum for the legislation.
The turning point came this year
when Mr. Daines and Mr. Gardner vis-
ited the White House and persuaded the
president that signing the measure would provide him with a significant
conservation legacy. Mr. Trump agreed
on the spot to sign the bill if it reached
his desk, despite his administrations
budget policy to slash the funding. It
passed the Senate on a 73-to-25 vote in
Some environmental activists pri-
vately cringed over the political benefits
the measure could bring to the two Re-
publican senators, who oppose many of
their other stances, but they welcomed
the opportunity to secure guaranteed
money for the program. It is time that we honor our prom-
ises, Representative Joe Cunningham
of South Carolina, the chief Democratic
sponsor of the legislation in the House,
said Wednesday. Some House Republicans from the
West fought the measure, portraying
the legislation as a badly flawed federal
land grab that could end up costing tax-
payers money if energy production
slowed by the pandemic does not
produce the $900 million in annual fund-
ing that will be mandatory under the
legislation. Representative Rob Bishop of Utah,
the senior Republican on the Natural
Resources Committee, was adamantly
opposed and referred to the legislation
as the not-so-great American Outdoors
Act. This bill is not about funding our pub-
lic lands, Mr. Bishop said. The only
thing this is about is how we can find an-
other way to buy more property. We
cant afford the property we already
But Mr. Bishop was clearly fighting a
losing battle. Member after member of
his own party joined Democrats to em-
brace the legislation, eager to demon-
strate to voters back home that they
were securing money for park and rec-
reation projects that are increasingly
popular during the pandemic. In the end, 81 Republicans joined 229
Democrats in supporting a rare biparti-
san piece of legislation certain to be
quickly celebrated in a signing ceremo-
ny at the White House.
A landmark U.S. conservation bill passes the House
BY CARL HULSE New legislation will provide funds to clear a maintenance backlog at Americas national parks, such as the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

When Beijing signaled this month that it
was time to buy China, investors did not
hesitate. But it did not take long for
some to get cold feet, as officials warned
that the market was overheating.
In the first four days of trading in July,
investors from outside China poured a
record $7.6 billion into the market, ac-
cording to BNP Paribas, the French in-
vestment bank. The official warnings
that followed prompted outflows of $2.5
billion in a single day a week later. It is both the hope and the uncertainty
of the Chinese stock market that is driv-
ing erratic behavior, as fresh highs bring
concerns anew. In a global economy troubled by the
coronavirus pandemic, Chinas recov-
ery has offered a glimmer of growth.
Chinese stocks rose by nearly a trillion
dollars in a few short weeks, shocking
even the most sanguine of financiers. Along with the foreign money pouring
in, a big piece of the momentum, as in
many Chinese rallies, is fueled by ordi-
nary investors who have few options for
building their savings except for prop-
erty and stocks. There are more than 160
million trading accounts in China, and
the majority are held by retail investors
who make less than $700 a month, ac-
cording to a state media survey. Its just like gambling, said Wu Hao,
a small-time investor from Beijing who
rode another remarkable rally in Chi-
nese stocks, in 2015. Mr. Wus invest-
ment more than tripled. Brave people
can make money, he said. But when the
market crashed, he lost $2,800.
Now small fries like Mr. Wu and for-
eign whales with billions of dollars alike
are watching the same elements of delir-
ium in the market and wondering: Have
we seen this movie before? Some investors have indeed reversed
course, acknowledging the realities of
investing in a country whose govern-
ment has the power to inflate and de-
flate stocks at will. The market has been
punctuated by huge swells one day, as
state media talk up a bull run, and sud-
den plunges the next, as officials warn of
irrational exuberance. Yet even with the ups and downs of re-
cent weeks, Chinas stock market is
worth a quarter more than it was a year
ago, bringing tremendous wealth to in-
vestors. The collective value is hovering
around a $10 trillion marker. That was
how much it was worth in June 2015,
right before a crash prompted hasty re-
actions from Chinas regulators and set
in motion a global sell-off. There are reasons to think this is a re-
peat of 2015. For starters, countless peo-
ple are again opening trading accounts.
Mr. Wus family and friends talk about
the stock market and trade tips often. His father-in-law started investing for
the first time, and his mood swings now
mirror the markets fluctuations.
When the market is up, he looks
happy, but when it falls, he sighs all the
time, Mr. Wu said. Optimism is inflated just as easily as it
is dashed by the authorities, who can
pick winners and losers, as they did five
years ago. At the start of July, the gov-
ernment indicated that investors could
not lose if they bet on China. State-con-
trolled media, closely trusted in Chinas
heavily censored news landscape,
jumped in to cheer on investors. Hahahahahaha! The signs of a bull
market are more and more clear, one
state-owned financial publication wrote
in online commentary. Xinhua, Chinas
official newswire, reported that invest-
ors were running toward stocks. An-
other described the rally as a healthy
bull run, noting that investors could ex-
perience the wealth effect of climbing
stock prices. Small-time investors across China
took the encouragement to heart. Online finance forums filled up with
recent university graduates trading tips
and discussing what company stocks to buy. One television channel that is fo-
cused on the economy, CCTV-2, posted a
message on its social media account,
asking, Is the bull market really here?
A commentator wrote, bull bull bull.
Another wrote, Lets go for it! A third
said, If you are unwilling to take the
risk, you can never make lots of money.
The momentum this time began dur-
ing the Covid-19 outbreak in February.
Restaurant and store owners were
forced to shut down their businesses.
Factory workers were told not to go
back to work. In those early weeks of the
outbreak, as people sat at home under citywide lockdowns, a surge of new
stock trading accounts opened, accord-
ing to state media reports.
As people emerged from lockdowns,
stock brokerages became so crowded
that they looked more like Chinas
bustling wet markets, one local outlet
reported. Tens of thousands of new ac-
counts have been opened for margin fi-
nance, which allows people to borrow to
invest in stocks. Mom-and-pop invest-
ors took on an alarming amount of debt
to buy stocks in 2015, contributing to the
crash. In recent weeks, levels of margin
financing have raised concerns again. But there are important differences
from 2015, too. Regulators at the time al-
lowed state media to fuel a rally for
months before taking any measures.
This year, a week after the market took
off in July, the securities regulator iden-
tified over 200 online platforms that
were offering margin financing illegally. Officials also did little to dampen en-
thusiasm five years ago. When the sell-
off began, they intervened repeatedly to
try to prop prices up. They restricted
bets against stocks, the police were dis-
patched to raid the offices of investors,
senior executives at investment banks
were arrested and a business journalist
was detained and forced to apologize. Officials appear to be exercising more
restraint in their signaling this time
around. Just a few days after cheering
on investors, financial state media ran
an editorial that warned them about the
stock markets getting overheated,
pointing to 2015 as a warning.
But not everyone is heading to the ex-
its many are buoyed by Chinas resil-
ience. While several other global econo-
mies are struggling with the coro-
navirus, China reported last week that
its economy had grown 3.2 percent over
the past three months. China is a tremendous driver of
growth, said Louis Kuijs, the head of
Asia economics at Oxford Economics.
Without Chinas positive contribution,
the global economy would have shrunk
10.5 percent over the past three months.
Instead it will most likely recede by only
5.9 percent, according to his estimate. The economic landscape, while dire,
is quite different from five years ago, a
period of weak economic growth for
both China and the world. In 2015, it was really hard to explain
why the market would go haywire, Mr.
Kuijs said. It was an odd setting for a
stock market bull run.
China stock surge is a reminder of a crisis
An investor monitoring stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing. A survey found most trading accounts are held by investors making less than $700 a month. NG HAN GUAN/ASSOCIATED PRESSHONG KONG
A combination of hope
and uncertainty drives
erratic market patterns
Cao Li contributed reporting.
A new public service announcement
makes a point that U.S. government
leaders have largely overlooked: Asian-
Americans are facing a surge of har-
assment linked to fears about the coro-
navirus pandemic. The spot, introduced this week, in-
cludes testimonials from a firefighter, a
nurse, a driver, an artist, the celebrity
chef Melissa King and others, who de-
scribe being told to go back to China or
having people spit in their direction.
The somber ad, produced by the non-
profit Advertising Council with help
from the Emmy-winning writer Alan
Yang, ends with a request: Fight the vi-
rus. Fight the bias. Anxiety about the coronavirus, which
was first detected in Wuhan, China, has
fueled xenophobia and bigotry toward
people of Asian descent. A coalition of
civil rights groups recorded more than
2,100 incidents in 15 weeks; the New
York City Commission on Human Rights
recently described a sharp increase in
instances of hostility and harassment.
A list of recent cases compiled by the
Anti-Defamation League chronicles
surging reports of xenophobic and rac-
ist incidents, including the defacing of
Asian-owned stores with racist graffiti,
disruption of video chats with anti-
Asian comments and beating or denying
people entry to businesses. President Trump has repeatedly de-
scribed the coronavirus as the Chinese
virus and, in recent weeks, as kung
flu, despite saying publicly that it is
very important that we totally protect
our Asian-American community in the
United States and that the pandemic is
not their fault in any way. Inflamma-
tory statements from leaders can ex-
acerbate racist behavior, according to
researchers and civil rights leaders. The fight against pandemic-related
harassment of Asian-Americans has
largely fallen to civil rights groups, mar-
keting agencies, social media accounts
and nonprofit organizations, which have
promoted hashtags like #IAmNot-
Covid19, #RacismIsAVirus, #Health-
NotHate and #MakeNoiseToday. Asiancy, an affinity group of the
Wieden and Kennedy, an ad agency in
Portland, posted a video in May about
the repercussions of recent anti-Asian
discrimination. The marketing firm IW
Group recruited actors, musicians, de-
signers and influencers to participate in
the #WashTheHate campaign. The Ad Council, which also intro-
duced a face mask initiative with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York this
month, will roll out the new anti-har-
assment campaign.
The issue of racism toward Asians hit
very close to home, said Mr. Yang, who
is known for popular shows like Parks
and Recreation and Master of None.
He had just finished directing and publi-
cizing Tigertail, a family drama made
for Netflix featuring a nearly all-Asian
and Asian-American cast. One of the lead Tigertail actors, Tzi
Ma, was at a Whole Foods store in Pasa-
dena, Calif., early in the outbreak when a
man approached in a car and told Mr.
Ma that he should be quarantined, Mr.
Yang said. Later, during an interview
with Mr. Yang on Instagram Live, view-
ers left comments saying he and the in-
terviewer, an Asian man, were the same
In a Pew Research Center survey, 58
percent of English-speaking Asian-
American adults said expressions of
racist or insensitive views about Asians
had become more common since the
pandemic began. More than 30 percent
said they had encountered slurs or rac-
ist jokes in recent months, and 26 per-
cent said they feared being threatened
or physically attacked because of their
race a higher percentage than for
Black, white and Hispanic adults. But many Americans, including sev-
eral non-Asian members of the produc-
tion team working on the Ad Councils
campaign, have been unaware of pan-
demic-related racism, Mr. Yang said. Steven Moy, the chief executive of the
Barbarian ad agency, said campaigns
like this one were a good starting
point. I dont know if this is enough, or how
effective it will be, but lets do baby steps
and create awareness, he said. I have
not seen enough of this we should do
Fighting anti-Asian bias
with ads and hashtags
A public service announcement focusing
on pandemic-related harassment.
Although it has become the worlds most
valuable automaker, Tesla still has to fig-
ure out how to become consistently prof-
itable, reduce quality problems in its
luxury electric cars and more quickly
turn alluring prototypes into mass-
produced vehicles.
One area where it hasnt had much to
fret about: competition.
Over the last year or so, several au-
tomakers, including Audi, Jaguar and
Porsche, have added new models in-
tended to cut into Teslas electric domi-
nance. But they have barely made a
dent, at least in the United States. Sales
of the Jaguar I-Pace, an electric sport
utility vehicle similar to the Tesla Model
Y, have totaled just over 1,000 this year.
Porsche has reported similar sales for
its electric sedan, the Taycan. Audi, which has grown steadily in the
United States over the last decade, in-
troduced an electric S.U.V., the E-tron,
last year, and sales have sputtered. So
far this year, Audi has sold just under
2,900. In many states, the car is adver-
tised at prices 13 percent or more below
its list price unusual for an Audi. Obviously from the numbers were
seeing, these cars arent setting the
world on fire, said Karl Brauer, an inde-
pendent auto analyst. It was a mistake
to think that just because these cars
were on the market that people were go-
ing to buy them. General Motors has fared somewhat
better with its Chevrolet Bolt, which the
company introduced in 2016. The com-
pany has sold over 8,000 Bolts this year.
Sales of the Nissan Leaf have topped
3,000. Tesla, which does not break out sales
by country, is clearly operating at a dif-
ferent level. State data analyzed by
Cross-Sell shows that 56,000 new Teslas
have been registered this year in 23
states, including California, Florida,
New York and Texas. Analysts said Tes-
las 50-state sales total probably ex-
ceeded 70,000 cars. Globally, the com-
pany delivered about 180,000 cars in the
first six months of the year.
Of course, electric vehicles, including
Teslas, represent a tiny proportion of
auto sales, which totaled more than 17
million in the United States last year.
Electrics are a bigger part of the new-
car market in Europe, and Tesla faces
more competition there than in the
United States, but not a lot more. China has many homegrown electric carmak-
ers, but they tend to make cheaper vehi-
cles that do not directly compete with
Teslas offerings. Regardless of the mar-
ket, though, E.V.s are the fastest-grow-
ing segment of the auto industry.
Teslas dominance can be explained in
part by its head start. It has been selling
electric cars in significant numbers
since 2012. The company and its chief
executive, Elon Musk, have also built a
fervent fan base that few other au-
tomakers, save perhaps high-end sports
car brands like Porsche or Ferrari, can
claim. Tesla has long offered innova-
tions other companies are only now try-
ing to match, such as wireless software
updates that can add features or fix
glitches without trips to a dealership. One of the biggest shortcomings of
competing models is range the dis-
tance an electric car can go before need-
ing to be recharged. The maximum for
the E-tron and Taycan is about 200
miles. The I-Pace and Bolt go 235 to 260
miles. The least expensive Tesla Model 3
has a range of 250 miles, and most of the
companys cars go 300 miles or more on
a single charge.
Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst at Guide-
house Insights, said that the Audi, Jag-
uar and Porsche vehicles were superior
to Teslas in some ways, such as look, feel
and finish, but that their limited range had put off many buyers.
The difference is too great for a lot of
consumers to ignore, he said. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been
slower to introduce electric vehicles in
the United States, where both compa-
nies plan to start selling new electric
S.U.V.s next year. Mercedes late last
year delayed the introduction of its mod-
el, the EQC. And BMW, which intro-
duced its i3 in 2014, has not built on that
early start. That has left the field open for Tesla,
and investors have taken note. The com-
panys stock has soared this year, climb-
ing from $510 in early January to about
$1,600. The opening of a second assem-
bly plant in China and the introduction
of the Model Y have lifted optimism that
Tesla will lead a global transition from
gasoline-powered cars and trucks to
zero-emission electric vehicles.
Of course, Teslas success is not guar-
anteed. It hasnt reported an annual
profit since its founding in 2003. But on Wednesday, the company re-
ported a $104 million profit in the second
quarter the first time it has reported
profits for four quarters in a row. The
performance surprised analysts, who
were expecting Tesla to lose money be-
cause the coronavirus pandemic forced
it to shut down its main factory, in Cali-
fornia, for about two months. Still, Tesla has struggled to match the
quality levels of traditional automakers,
and it is spending heavily on Model Y
production and developing a pickup
truck, a semi truck and other vehicles. It
is also building a third factory, in Ger-
many, and planning a fourth. Its Autopilot driver-assistance sys- tem has won widespread attention, but
its shortcomings have come under scru-
tiny after fatal accidents when it was in
use. This month, a German court ruled
that Tesla had exaggerated the systems
abilities and created the false impres-
sion that Tesla cars with Autopilot could
drive themselves.
Officials at Tesla did not reply to re-
quests for comment. Moreover, a stronger competitive
push may come soon. By the end of this
year, Ford Motor expects to start selling
an electric S.U.V., the Mustang Mach-E,
that is styled to look like the companys
famous sports car. It is promising a ver-
sion of the car with a range of 300 miles
or more. G.M. has said it will offer a new
Bolt with longer range by the end of this
year, followed by more than 20 other
electric models over the next three
years. Volkswagen next year will begin sell-
ing an electric S.U.V., the ID4, which will
also have a range of 300 miles. The com-
pany on Monday started taking orders
in Europe for the ID3, a hatchback that
will sell for about 10,000 euros ($11,500)
less than the Model 3; the car is not ex-
pected to be sold in the United States. And various start-ups are raising bil-
lions of dollars to challenge Tesla.
Among the most promising is Rivian,
which is backed by Amazon, Ford and
other investors. The company, which is
based in Michigan, plans to bring out
next year a pickup truck and an S.U.V.
that can go up to 400 miles.
Coming even sooner is a new com-
pany, Polestar, owned by Volvo and
Volvos Chinese parent, Zhejiang Geely
Holding. The Polestar 2 is a hatchback
that is supposed to go 275 miles before
needing a recharge and has the kind of
agility zero to 62 miles an hour in less
than five seconds that appeals to afi-
cionados. It will start at $59,900 in the
United States, and buyers will be able to
claim a $7,500 federal tax credit and
state incentives. The company will also
sell the Polestar 1, a sports coupe that
starts at $155,000.
Polestar recently opened sales cen-
ters in Santa Monica, Calif., and New
York City. Sales are expected to begin in
the next few weeks. Since Polestar is an E.V.-only com-
pany like Tesla, it is counting on pulling
customers from traditional carmakers,
not just its bigger rival. The company
expected to sell thousands of cars this
year, and tens of thousands in 2021,
said Gregor Hembrough, the head of
Polestars U.S. operations. Right now, theres only one party in
town, he said.
The race to catch up with Tesla
This year, over 8,000 Chevrolet Bolts, above, have been sold in the United States, while
data shows 56,000 new Teslas have been registered in 23 states.
has had few challengers,
but that could change soon
Jack Ewing contributed reporting.One of the biggest shortcomings
of competing models is range
the distance an electric car can go
before needing to be recharged.

Tim Bray, an internet pioneer and a for-
mer vice president at Amazon, sent
shock waves through the tech giant in
early May when he resigned for what he
called a vein of toxicity running
through its culture.
Within a few hours, his blog post
about the resignation drew hundreds of
thousands of views, and his inbox filled
up with requests from journalists, re-
cruiters and techies. Soon, U.S. lawmak-
ers were citing the post. It all made Mr.
Bray, 65, Amazons highest-profile de-
fector. But there was more that he wanted to
In the weeks since, he has aimed his
brain power not at fixing a coding prob-
lem but at framing a broader critique of
the company. In talks and blog posts
that have drawn attention inside the
company, he has called for unionization
and antitrust regulation. Amid the
beating of the antitrust drums, Mr.
Bray wrote in one post, he would like to
see Amazon separate its retail business
from its lucrative cloud computing unit. And Im pretty sure Im not alone, he
said. Facing growing antitrust scrutiny at
the same time that the coronavirus cri-
sis has strained the companys opera-
tions, Amazon is increasingly forced to
defend its record as an employer and its
relationship with consumers. On Mon-
day, Jeff Bezos, the companys chief ex-
ecutive, will testify for the first time be-
fore the U.S. Congress, which is investi-
gating the power of Amazon and other
tech titans. Mr. Bray stands out because while
much of the criticism of Amazon has
been from the outside labor groups,
lawmakers and rivals he spent more
than five years in the top echelons of the
company. Amazon declined to comment about
Mr. Bray. In a series of video interviews from a
gently rocking small boat, docked in
Vancouver, British Columbia, that has
been his office during the pandemic, Mr.
Bray presented his ideas as a matter of
logic. I am not in some radical fringe be-
cause I think the wealth and power in
the 21st century is overly concentrated,
he said. The tech industry is a leading
candidate for what could be broken up.
Mr. Bray may have been uniquely pre-
disposed to think about more than engi-
neering problems. Born in Canada, he
spent most of his childhood in Beirut,
where his father worked as a professor.
As political and religious conflict made
Lebanon unstable, it just wasnt a good
place to live, Mr. Bray said. His time in Beirut stayed with him af-
ter he returned to Canada, making him
unable to ignore politics. Politics there
takes the very rare form of riots in the
streets and incoming Israeli missiles,
he said. While a student at University of
Guelph, near Toronto, Mr. Bray found
joy and skill in computer science. He used it during the early days of the con-
sumer internet, digitizing the Oxford
English Dictionary and founding two
start-ups. But he is best known among
technologists for helping invent XML, a
critical standard for storing and sharingdata on the internet.
By 2014, after several years at Google,
Mr. Bray had joined Amazon. He be-
came a rare distinguished engineer,
part of an elite group whose clout comes
not from managing large teams but from demonstrating engineering brilliance.
Paul Hoffman, who met Mr. Bray in
the 2000s while writing technical stand-
ards for blogs, said Mr. Bray was one of
those people you really want to hate but
cant, a polymath who was highly func- tional on just a few hours of sleep.
Mr. Bray is definitely a geeky geek,
Mr. Hoffman said, but what is atypical
is that he also has a lot of other inter-
ests. In conversation and his writing, Mr.
Bray readily cites the economist Thom-
as Piketty (whose book on inequality he
has read end to end), admits a love of
heavy metal music (which he calls sort
of, well, ridiculous because the volume
is much louder than can be sanely nec-
essary) and talks in detail about the cli-
mate crisis (which he finds alarming as
a person who has a high respect for
quantitative science and understands
what mathematical modeling is about). He turned some of those interests into
activism. In 2018, he was arrested while
protesting a proposed pipeline in Cana-
da that would export tar sands oil to
Asian markets. And last year, when he
saw that thousands of corporate Ama-
zon employees had signed a letter urg-
ing Amazon to address the climate crisis
more forcefully, he added his name. He
was the most senior person to join. His involvement thrilled organizers.
To have a V.P. just confirmed how
strongly Amazon employees felt about
Amazon taking significant leadership
on climate, said Emily Cunningham, an
Amazon designer at the time who
helped organize the letter. His public dissent angered some lead-
ers at Amazon, Mr. Bray said. He said he
had been told to remember the Amazon
leadership principle known as disagree
and commit, the idea that people should
vigorously debate internally but that
once a formal decision on an issue is
made, everyone should support it. As a V.P., youre not supposed to go
off the rails with conflicting messaging,
which is not an unreasonable position,
Mr. Bray said. But that idea would even-
tually lead to his resignation. In April, Amazon fired Ms. Cunning-
ham and several other workers who had
raised concerns about safety in Ama-
zons warehouses. The company said
each employee had repeatedly violated
various policies. To Mr. Bray, it looked
like an explicit policy of firing anybody
who put up their hand. We support every employees right
to criticize their employers working
conditions, but that does not come with
blanket immunity against any and all in-
ternal policies, Jaci Anderson, an Ama-
zon spokeswoman, said in a statement. For Mr. Bray, the firings crossed a
line. He said he had raised concerns in-
ternally but could not disagree and
commit, as Amazon wanted. He stayed
for a few weeks to wrap up a project and
resigned, leaving $1 million in compen-
sation behind.
He turned to his blog to explain the
resignation publicly. Mr. Bray stayed up
until 2 a.m., preparing his server to with-
stand greater-than-usual traffic, should
Reddit and Hacker News pick up his
post, as he hoped. The plan worked even
better than he had expected.
I was aiming at a soft target, it turned
out, he said.
In the following days, Mr. Brays critique
resonated in Washington, D.C. He spoke
with Representative Pramila Jayapal, a
Democrat whose district in Washington
State includes Amazons headquarters
in Seattle. And senators mentioned his
resignation post when they wrote to Mr.
Bezos about the firings.
He initially tried to keep a low profile,
responding only by email to press re- quests. But he kept blogging and even-
tually talked publicly, making even
more aggressive criticisms.
On a live video in early June with Na-
tional Observer, a Canadian investiga-
tive news site, Mr. Bray said Amazon
was a symptom of concentrated capital-
ism. We dont really have an Amazon
problem, he said. What we have is a
deep, societal problem with an unac-
ceptable imbalance of power and
wealth. Its not obvious to me why the retail
company, the manufacturing company,
the voice recognition company, the
cloud computing company and the
Prime video company should be the
same company, he said at the event.
Theyre not particularly related to each
other, and I think its actively distorting
and harmful. A week later, Mr. Bray spoke at a vir-
tual conference convened by global un-
ions critical of Amazon. He said that un-
ions should be easier to form in the
United States and that one of the most
powerful political programs we could
run with the aim of correcting the power
imbalances that concern us is anti-
monopoly. He also said the sheer size of
Amazon and other large corporations
gave them inordinate power over poli-
tics, policies and labor conditions. The goodness Amazon espouses
low prices, selection, quick delivery
isnt free, he said. Right now, the
downside of all this goodness is over-
whelmingly being experienced by the
warehouse workers. Amazon has de-
fended its labor conditions, saying that
it has spent billions to make its ware-
houses safe and that its workers are
paid at least $15 an hour, plus benefits.
Mr. Bray soon turned to formulating a
business case for breaking up the com-
pany. He wrote it in a standard Amazon
format, known as a PRFAQ, envisioning
how the company would announce the
proposal once it was fully enacted. With
antitrust pressures growing, Amazon
might prefer to proactively spin off its
cloud computing business, Amazon Web
Services, he wrote, as opposed to under
hostile pressure from Washington. He posted the document on GitHub, a
coding collaboration tool, asking for
help improving the pitch. Spinning the
web services off, he argued, would make
companies like Walmart that compete
with Amazon more comfortable using
the cloud computing service, creating
more potential customers. Organizations who compete with
Amazon want to take advantage of
AWSs industry-leading offerings with-
out having to worry that they are
strengthening a competitor, he wrote. His post did not get as much attention
online as his resignation had. But look-
ing at logs on his blogs server, he could
tell that it got attention somewhere criti-
cal: inside Amazon. His suspicion was confirmed when a
former colleague told him that Amazon
was worried a Wall Street analyst might
think the document was a true Amazon
document. Could he add a disclaimer? Mr. Bray updated the proposal. This
document is not an Amazon produc-
tion, he wrote. It describes a hypo-
thetical process that could take place.
The Amazon critic who came from inside
Once a vice president,
Tim Bray now campaigns
to break up the giant
Tim Bray angered some fellow Amazon executives in 2019 when he supported an employee campaign urging the business to address
climate change, below left. Then, in May, he quit when workers were fired after raising concerns about warehouse safety, below right. ALANA PATERSON FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
and would like Amazon to
separate its retail business from
its cloud computing unit.
When millions of Americans began los-
ing their jobs in March, the U.S. govern-
ment stepped in with a life preserver:
$600 a week in extra unemployment
benefits to allow workers to pay rent
and buy groceries, and to cushion the
economy. With economic conditions again de-
teriorating, that life preserver will dis-
appear within days if Congress doesnt
act to extend it. That could prompt a
wave of evictions and inflict more finan-
cial harm on millions of Americans
while further damaging the economy. Even the threat of a lapse in benefits
could prove harmful, economists warn,
by pushing households to make precau-
tionary spending cuts. The benefits program, Federal Pan-
demic Unemployment Compensation,
expires at the end of July. But because of
a quirk in the calendar, workers in most
states wont qualify for the payments af-
ter this week. Most will be left with regu-
lar unemployment benefits, which total
only a few hundred dollars a week in
many states. That means that more than 20 million
Americans could soon see their weekly
incomes fall by half or more at a time
when the unemployment rate remains
higher than in any other period since
World War II.
Economists warn that it isnt just indi-
vidual recipients who will suffer if the
benefits are cut. The federal payments are injecting
billions of dollars into the economy each
week, money that flows to landlords,
grocery stores, retailers and countless
other businesses. Ernie Tedeschi, a for-
mer Treasury Department official and
an economist at Evercore ISI Research,
has estimated that if the payments
cease, the U.S. gross domestic product
will be 2 percent smaller at the end of 2020 and there will be 1.7 million fewer
jobs nationwide.
These unemployment benefit checks
are really doing a large job in propping
up spending by these unemployed
households, said Joseph Vavra, a Uni-
versity of Chicago economist who has
been studying the impact of the benefits.
If they expire, he said, theres a good
chance that what is now an unemploy-
ment problem becomes a foreclosure
crisis and eviction crisis. Congress returned from recess this
week to consider a new relief package,
which could include at least a partial ex-
tension of the extra unemployment benefits. Senate Republicans and the
White House are considering a package
worth roughly $1 trillion that would re-
tain the program but scale it back. Dem-
ocrats are pressing to continue paying
the full $600 a week.
But Congress seems unlikely to act
before the benefits lapse. And because
of the antiquated computer systems in
many state unemployment offices,
which do the processing, it could take
weeks to restart payments. That means that the incomes of mil-
lions of people are likely to drop, at least
temporarily. For people depending on the checks, that uncertainty is frustrating.
I have no idea why Congress would
wait until a few days before the checks
are going to run out, said Jacob Perl-
man, a benefits recipient in Chicago.
This should have been done a month
ago. Mr. Perlman, 26, earned $12 an hour
as a janitor at a fitness club, making him
one of the millions of Americans earning
more on unemployment than they did
on the job. But he is eager to return to
work. The jobs simply are not there right
now, he said. Mr. Perlmans regular benefits from
the state of Illinois total $159 a week,
barely enough to cover his $500 share of
the monthly rent, let alone food or other
expenses. So he is already trying to save
as much as possible. Decisions like Mr. Perlmans to curtail
spending even before the benefits ex-
pire, multiplied across millions of house-
holds, are a sort of uncertainty tax on
the broader economy, damping the stim-
ulative effect of the payments. There are people who are on the
precipice of financial disaster here, said
David Wilcox, a former Federal Reserve
official who is an economist at the Peter-
son Institute for International Econom-
ics. We may think that the odds are that
Congress will come to a reasonable con-
clusion. But for a person who is on the
precipice of financial disaster, its very
low comfort to be told, You know, I think
theres a 70 percent chance that this is
going to work out fine.
The risk is particularly acute for
Black and Latino workers, who have
been disproportionately affected by job
losses and are less likely to have savings
or other assets to fall back on. A recent
working paper from researchers at the
University of Chicago and the JPMor-
gan Chase Institute found that Black
and Latino households cut spending by far more than white households when
their income drops.
When 30 percent of your population
has no wealth, this has real implica-
tions, said William E. Spriggs, a profes-
sor at Howard University in Washington
and the chief economist for the A.F.L.-
C.I.O. There isnt a piggy bank. This is
it. So when you cut their benefits, their
drop in consumption is going to be
The extra unemployment payments
were part of a multitrillion-dollar federal
response to the pandemics economic
devastation. Congress expanded eligi-
bility for unemployment benefits and
food stamps, sent $1,200 checks to most
households and offered forgivable loans
to millions of small businesses. Together, those programs did much to
offset the damage: Average personal in-
come rose in April, the worst month of
the crisis to date, and consumer spend-
ing rebounded quickly, once federal dol-
lars started flowing into the economy.
Mortgage delinquencies, credit card de-
faults and other signs of financial stress
rose by less than many forecasters ini-
tially feared. When Congress created the various
programs, it still seemed possible that
the pandemic would have begun to ebb
by summer and that the economy would
no longer need as much federal help. Instead, after falling steadily in May
and early June, virus cases are rising in
much of the country, and many states
are reimposing business restrictions.
Real-time measures suggest that the
economic recovery that began in May has begun to lose momentum, and some
economists expect the unemployment
rate to start climbing again.
The threat of an economic stall has led
some Republicans in Washington to em-
brace more aggressive federal action
than they were considering a few weeks
ago. Larry Kudlow, a top economic ad-
viser to President Trump and a critic of
the $600 payments, said this week that
there was no way Republicans would
allow the benefits to expire entirely. But
the congressional outcome remains un-
Some economists, particularly on the
right, say there are good reasons to wind
down the payments as the economy im-
proves. But even economists who have
been critical of the extra benefits say it
would be a mistake to cut them off en-
Thats a lot of income to just with-
draw from the economy really sud-
denly, said Michael R. Strain, an econo-
mist at the conservative American En-
terprise Institute. Right now theres no question that
the positive economic effects of those
payments are outweighing the negative
economic effects. Mr. Strain and many other econo-
mists would like to see the benefits
linked to economic conditions, ideally at
the state level. That would allow pay-
ments to shrink as local economies im-
prove, while eliminating the uncertainty
that comes with setting a fixed end date
and then waiting to see if Congress ex-
tends it. For now, people like Mr. Perlman, who
lost his job at a fitness club, are left to
wonder what comes next. I just want security, he said. Thats
what I want. Im not looking to profit off
this. If there was a job out there, I would
take it.
Loss of $600 lifeline could push millions past the brink
Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.REBEKKA DUNLAP Theres a good chance that what
is now an unemployment
problem becomes a foreclosure
crisis and eviction crisis.

An artist
anxiety by
trying to
stay present. Lucie Langston LUCIE LANGSTON
is an illustrator based in Mainz, Germany.
I am stuck between two lives during this pandemic OP-ARTOpinion

10 |F RIDAY, JULY 24, 2020 THE NEW YORK TIMES INTERNATIONAL EDITION As a respite from a chaotic spring spent
under quarantine, my family booked a
weeklong vacation last month in a cozy,
remote house in the California desert.
While the kids cannonballed into the
saltwater pool and my wife sped through
several novels, I spent my time in the
sun doing exactly the sort of thing youd
imagine an opinion columnist might do
on summer vacation: I read two hot new
books about macroeconomics.
Wait, dont leave! I promise this isnt
as dry as it sounds. The first book was The Price of
Peace, Zachary Carters incisive biog-
raphy of the British economist John
Maynard Keynes, which illustrates the
awesome power of economic theory to
alter the fates of nations and the lives of
millions of people. The second was The
Deficit Myth, in which the economist
Stephanie Kelton convincingly over-
turns the conventional wisdom that
federal budget deficits are somehow bad
for the nation. Im on record as a doomer, but in
different ways, these tomes sparked the
first real note of optimism Ive felt about
Americas future in quite a while. To-
gether, they suggest a compelling politi-
cal, moral and economic case for the
federal government to begin to do,
again, what it once saw as its duty to
make big, bold and even expensive
investments to improve the lives of
Americans, and perhaps of people
around the world. In the last few years, and especially in
the hellish last couple of months, the
United States has come to feel like a
failed state. The coronavirus is spread-
ing, the economy is crumbling, society is
fragmenting, our infrastructure is fall-
ing apart, health care is inadequate and
costly, child care is impossible, and life
expectancy is declining. The federal government is not only
often unwilling to help, but seemingly
incapable of it. To get just about any-
thing done anymore, Uncle Sam must go
hat in hand to the behemoth private
companies that now rule much of our
lives. Please, Google, will you create a
coronavirus testing website? Please,
Walmart, will you set up in-person test-
ing sites? And whenever anyone is brave
enough to suggest that the government
itself should provide useful services to
Americans whether big-ticket items
like health care, child care and college
education, or smaller things like an
upgraded electric grid or a national
broadband service the first reaction
from many on the right and the left is one of defeat and resignation. How will you
pay for it? they ask. And, often, the
whole conversation stops right there,
because with a $26.5 trillion national
debt, America looks hopelessly broke.
It is not. Kelton argues that our gov-
ernments inability to provide for citi-
zens isnt due to a lack for money; in-
stead, our leaders lack political will. Kelton who has worked as an econ-
omist for Democrats in the Senate and
as an adviser to Bernie Sanderss presi- dential campaigns
is one of the lead-
ing proponents of
Modern Monetary
Theory, or M.M.T.
The theory argues
that because the
government is in
charge of its own
currency, it cannot
run out of money
the way a household
or a business can,
and it therefore does
not need to raise taxes to fund govern-
ment spending. This doesnt mean that the govern-
ments resources are infinite, just that
deficits are not a true limit on whats
possible. Instead of being constrained
by deficits, Kelton and other M.M.T.ers
argue, policymakers should care about
real measures of economic activity:
unemployment and inflation.
Whatever the deficit, if unemploy-
ment is rife, its an indication that aggre-
gate demand is low; to boost demand,
the government can freely spend, spend, spend and should stop spend-
ing only when there is a danger that it
will lead to a rise in prices that is,
inflation not because deficits will
soar. In practice, Kelton and other
M.M.T.ers propose a federal jobs guar-
antee, in which the government would
hire anyone who needs a job for a set
wage. The policy, she argues, would
promote full employment while keeping
inflation stable.
M.M.T. is controversial even among
left-leaning economists Lawrence H.
Summers, who once worked as Barack
Obamas director of the National Eco-
nomic Council, has called it a recipe for
disaster and its easy for non-econo-
mists to get lost in the many technical
debates surrounding the idea. But one doesnt need to buy into
everything about M.M.T. to see Keltons
fundamental point that in the 40
years since Ronald Reagan won the
White House, both the left and the right
have been unnecessarily obsessed with
deficits, to the detriment of the well-
being of citizens. The cruelest example of this mind-set
occurred after the Great Recession in
2008. At the time, many experts sug-
gested that an adequate response to the
downturn would require the govern-
ment to spend a trillion dollars or more
to boost demand. Instead, Obama and
his aides, worried about sticker shock,
lowballed their stimulus, and millions of
people remained unemployed.
In the decade since that recession,
many economists and lawmakers have
grown less worried about deficits, be- cause red ink has not led to economic
calamity. Thats to the good: Deficits are
rarely questioned when lawmakers are
spending on the military or on tax cuts
for corporations, so its only fair that
they arent constrained by deficits when
spending on things like health care,
child care and education.
And right now, in the midst of a pan-
demic, the economy needs as much help
as it can get. In March, Congress passed
and the president signed the CARES
Act, which provided more than $2 tril-
lion in economic stimulus. Studies show
that it has had a remarkable effect
despite a steep increase in unemploy-
ment due to the virus, the expansion in
aid prevented a rise in poverty. But most of that stimulus will soon
come to an end. Congress is working on
another relief package, but already
lawmakers are fighting about its size:
Democrats in the House passed a $3
trillion bill; Trump and Senate Republi-
cans are looking at something closer to
$1 trillion. Near the end of his Keynes book,
Carter writes that Keynesianism is not
so much a school of economic thought as
a spirit of radical optimism, unjustified
by most of human history and ex-
tremely difficult to conjure up precisely
when it is most needed: during the
depths of a depression or amid the
fevers of war.
We are in similarly dire straits now
and one way we might escape is to do
what Keynes would suggest we do:
spend our way toward a better tomor-
America looks hopelessly broke. But it isnt.
Both the left
and the right
have been
obsessed with
deficits, to the
detriment of
the well-being
of citizens.Farhad Manjoo
In 1975, after public revelations of intel-
ligence abuses concealed from all but a
handful of members of Congress, the
United States Senate created a tempo-
rary committee to study the nations spy
agencies something no standing
committee had ever attempted.What came to be known as the Church
Committee, after its chairman, Senator
Frank Church of Idaho, recommended
broad reforms, including the creation of
a permanent Intelligence Oversight
Committee. Former Vice President
Walter Mondale and I are the last sur-
viving members of the Church Commit-
tee. We have recently come to learn of at
least a hundred documents authorizing
extraordinary presidential powers in
the case of a national emergency, virtu-
ally dictatorial powers without congres-
sional or judicial checks and balances.
President Trump alluded to these au-
thorities in March when he said, I have
the right to do a lot of things that people
dont even know about. No matter who
occupies the office, the American people
have a right to know what extraordi-
nary powers presidents believe they
have. It is time for a new select commit-
tee to study these powers and their
potential for abuse, and advise Con-
gress on the ways in which it might, at a
minimum, establish stringent
Secret powers began accumulating
during the Eisenhower years and have
grown by accretion ever since. The
rationale originally was to permit a
president to exercise necessary control
in the case of nuclear war, an increas-
ingly remote possibility since the Cold
Wars end . An obscure provision in the
Communications Act of 1934 empowers
the president to suspend broadcast
stations and other means of communi-
cation following a proclamation by the
President of national emergency.
Powers like these have been deployed sparingly: A few days after the Sept. 11
attacks, a proclamation declaring a
national emergency, followed by an
executive order days later, invoked
some presidential powers, including the
use of National Guard and U.S. military
What little we know about these
secret powers comes from the Brennan Center for Justice
at the New York
University Law
School, but we
believe they may
include suspen-
sion of habeas
corpus, surveil-
lance, home intru-
sion, arrest with-
out a judicial
warrant, collective
if not mass arrests and more; some
could violate constitutional protections. A number of us have urged immediate
congressional investigations concern-
ing what these powers are and why they
have been kept secret. Public hearings
should be held before the November
elections, especially with rumors rife
that the incumbent president might
interfere with the election or refuse to accept the result if he felt in jeopardy of
As the election approaches amid an
expanding pandemic, it is highly doubt-
ful that a full-scale public investigation
of these powers will be conducted before
November. But there is time for Con-
gress to organize a select committee for
the purpose of investigating and disclos-
ing these secret presidential powers.
Among the questions to be ad-
dressed: Where did these secret powers
come from? Where are they kept? Who
has access to them? What qualifies as a
national emergency sufficient to sus-
pend virtually all constitutional protec-
tion? And critically, why must these
powers be secret?
This proposed select committee could
then resume proceedings after the
election to examine whether such an
extra-constitutional system is justified. The Church Committee offers a tem-
plate. Senior members of both parties
should convene hearings by first re-
questing, or if necessary, subpoenaing,
the documents themselves. Those from
previous administrations familiar with
these documents should be called to
testify, as well as current officials, in-
cluding the national security adviser, the attorney general and the White
House counsel.
The most obvious first question is
why these far-reaching powers are
kept secret, not only from Congress but
also from the American people. The
second question is why they are neces-
sary at all. And ultimately, should not
there be permanent congressional
oversight of any suggestion for calling
these powers into operation? Under
what dire conditions should our system
of checks and balances among the
executive, legislative and judicial
branches be abandoned in favor of a
dictatorship? And once a dictatorship
is declared, what would be required to
return us to our historic democratic
system of government?
Clearly, in either house of Congress, a
standing committee could be autho-
rized to conduct these hearings and
investigations. But a select committee
signals special attention, singular focus
and a dedicated mission not distracted
by other duties. We are not living in ordinary political
times. Great temptations are offered to
a president faced with defeat to declare
a national emergency, for dangers at
home or abroad capable of manufac-
ture, and thus have unchecked access
to dozens of extreme powers unknown
to our founders or our Constitution. Some dismiss such concerns as
improbable. But much that has tran-
spired in the past three and a half years
has seemed improbable, until it hap-
pened. Why doubt the intentions of a
president who said in the White House
briefing room in April, when some-
body is the president of the United
States, the authority is total, and thats
the way its got to be? Surely, regardless of party or candi-
date preference, we can all agree there
is no justification for a president to
have dictatorial powers kept secret
from Congress, the press and the
American people.
Gary Hart
GARY HARTis a former Democratic sena-
tor from Colorado and a former presi-
dential candidate.
How powerful is the U.S. president?
It is time for
Congress to
investigate the
given to the
chief executive. SAMUEL CORUM FOR THE NEW YORK TIMESopinion
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92 01, Commission Paritaire No. 0523 C83099. Printed in France by Paris Offset Print 30 Rue Raspail 93120 La Courneuve On Friday, after 86 years as a museum, the great Hagia
Sophia in Istanbul will once again echo with Muslim
prayers. To Turkish Islamists, the conversion marks the
fulfillment of a long-held dream of restoring a symbol of
Ottoman grandeur. For many others around the world,
the change is a dismaying setback for one of the worlds
greatest architectural and cultural landmarks.
Grandly arrayed on a hilltop over the Bosporus where
it divides Europe and Asia, the Hagia Sophias 15-cen-
tury history is suffused with events, myths and symbols
important to both East and West. Built in the sixth cen-
tury by a Byzantine emperor, Justinian I, as the premier
cathedral of the Roman Empire and dedicated to Holy
Wisdom, it was for almost 1,000 years the largest
church in the world, a temple so majestic that upon its
dedication the emperor is said to have proclaimed, Sol-
omon, I have surpassed thee! Its influence on history
and architecture and religion, Christian and Islamic, is
When Constantinople fell to Ottoman forces in 1453,
Mehmed II the Conqueror converted it to a mosque, the
Great Mosque of Ayasofya, and with time the Byzantine
mosaics were covered over or destroyed and four great
minarets were raised around the structure. It remained
a mosque until 1934, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the
founder of the secular, modern republic of Turkey, trans-
formed the Hagia Sophia into a museum, exposing long-
concealed mosaics and marble floor decorations, in
what was seen as a bid to free the monument, and the
nation, from myths of sacred conquest.
It became the most-
visited museum in
Turkey, attracting
about 3.7 million vis-
itors in 2019. It was
designated a World
Heritage Site by UN-
ESCO, identified as a
landmark of excep-
tional cultural signifi-
cance to all humanity,
worthy of conserva-
tion. Why President Re-
cep Tayyip Erdogan
chose to reverse Ata-
turks decision is a
matter of some conjec-
ture. A product of an
Islamist political tradi-
tion, he said he was unable to sleep on the
night he issued the
presidential decree
making the change.
Only a year earlier he had argued against the conver-
sion. What is clear is that despite the great powers Mr.
Erdogan has seized over 17 years in power as prime
minister and president, his current political standing is
shaky, and he needs to feed his nationalist base. Reversing Ataturks secular legacy plays well among
Turkish nationalists, for whom the museum inside the
Hagia Sophia long represented a humiliating foreign
imposition and a blot on the Ottoman past they glorify.
And evidently not only nationalists. The conversion of
the museum has drawn little criticism within Turkey
and among Muslims outside, and all political parties
save one applauded the change. Mr. Erdogan, for his part, has sought to reassure the
world that when not being used for prayer, the Hagia
Sophia would remain open to the public, and that Chris-
tian frescoes would remain on display, though covered
with curtains during Muslim prayers. It is critical that at least on these matters, he be held to
his word. It is a sad reflection on the state of Turkeys
democracy that a monument of such global importance
and value should become an authoritarian leaders
political tool. But whats done is done; there is no chance
that Mr. Erdogan would reverse his decree, even if he
could, without firing the fury of his base. But the Hagia Sophia remains a World Heritage Site
in the most profound sense of the designation, a struc-
ture of surpassing beauty with a deep overlay of the
histories of East and West, Christianity and Islam. That
need not preclude prayer; nor should it preclude Turks
from feeling a powerful connection to a monument that
has been the pride of their nation for centuries. But like
the damaged Notre-Dame in Paris, or the Acropolis in
Athens, that must not undermine its calling as a place of
exceptional significance to all humanity. In converting the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Mr. Erdo-
gan has assumed the weighty responsibility of a custodi-
an of one of the worlds cultural landmarks. He ought not
be allowed to forget that. Turning
the Istanbul
landmark from
a secular space
back into a
religious venue
is a risk to
this World
Heritage Site.
DEAN BAQUET, Executive Editor
JOSEPH KAHN, Managing Editor
TOM BODKIN, Creative Director
SUZANNE DALEY, Associate Editor
Chief Executive Officer
STEPHEN DUNBAR-JOHNSON, President, International
CHARLOTTE GORDON, V.P., International Consumer Marketing
HELEN KONSTANTOPOULOS, V.P., International Circulation
HELENA PHUA, Executive V.P., Asia-Pacific
SUZANNE YVERNÈS, International Chief Financial Officer

Soon, Uncle Eric became their emis-
sary. Uncle Eric was the first member of
my family to become an American
citizen. He arrived in San Francisco in
the late 1970s, drawn to an economic
powerhouse of a country, so starkly
different from what he had grown up
with in Taiwan. It was 35 years before the brothers
met again, in 1982. My father was a
visiting scholar for a year at the Cardio-
vascular Research Institute at the
University of California, San Francisco,
where he conducted research on pulmo-
nary edema, and he received a few
months of clinical training in the inten-
sive care unit at what is now called the
Zuckerberg San Francisco General
Hospital and Trauma Center. In the early 1980s, the gap between
China and the United States was gigan-
tic. And my father has always been
grateful for the education he received at
U.C.S.F. and the kindness and generos-
ity of the Americans he met. He brought his American training
back to Nanchang to establish the first
I.C.U. in Jiangxi Province and one of the
first I.C.U.s in China. He also estab-
lished one of the first if not the very
first institute of molecular medicine
in China.
In 1985, I followed in his footsteps and
in those of my uncles Uncle Tim
(Xinghua) had immigrated to Califor-
nia as well: I went to San Francisco to
study for my Ph.D., also at U.C.S.F. My
younger brother moved to the United
States a few years later. In the 1990s, with the collapse of the
Soviet model, America seemed to be the
only other exemplar left. Having stud-
ied in the United States and with plans
to work and live there for the long haul,
I applied for American citizenship and obtained it in 2000. My children were
born in the United States.
But then 9/11 happened, and this axis
of evil emerged: Dick Cheney (vice
president); Paul Wolfowitz (deputy
secretary of defense); David Addington
(counsel to the vice president); John
Yoo (Justice Department lawyer and
author of the Torture Memos). These
men were ready to do anything to ad-
vance their agenda, imposing their own
law meaning, really, no proper laws
and no rule of law in Iraq, at Guantá-
namo and elsewhere. And too many
Americans went along. That period
proved to me that America was not the democratic beacon
many of us had
thought it to be.
I first started
looking into how to
renounce my U.S.
citizenship while I
lived in Chicago and
then again after
moving back to
China in 2007. I
completed the
process in 2011 a decision that has
been validated since by the advent of
President Trump and Trumpism, which
are a natural expansion of what was put
in motion after 9/11.
Uncle Eric never returned to main-
land China. By the time my father retired in 2005,
at 75, he had treated countless respira-
tory and I.C.U. patients in China. He had
worked through the SARS epidemic in
2002-3, issuing dark predictions that the
virus, or something like it, would come
back. He and I debate whether the new
coronavirus proves his prediction right. As Covid-19 began to spread earlier
this year, my father, now 90 and long
retired, would send me advice about
how to treat the disease so that I could relay it to other doctors, including the
one leading response efforts in the city
of Wuhan, the pandemics epicenter
early on.
Our family has 12 members in Wu-
han, mostly on my mothers side, and
six in New York, mostly on my fathers
side. All my relatives in Wuhan are safe.
Uncle Eric died in New York after the
pandemic had moved to the United
States the worlds strongest country
militarily, the richest economically and
the most advanced medically. The United States had two months or
more to learn from Chinas experience
with this coronavirus, and it could have
done much more to lower infection
rates and fatalities. My father is strug-
gling to accept his brothers death
partly, too, because he believes that he
could have treated Uncle Eric that in
China Uncle Eric would have been
saved. As the pandemic rages on in the
United States and throughout the
world, with some smaller outbreaks in
China, the United States and China are
not collaborating, but competing, in the
search for a successful vaccine for the
virus and treatment measures for the
My fathers family has been divided
for most of his life, separated mostly by
the decisions of political leaders. For a
long time, the United States seemed like
the better place to live for those lucky
enough to have such a choice.
Now, my father and Uncle Eric have
been separated once again. This time
that outcome doesnt speak well of
Would my uncle have survived in China?
My father,
a Chinese
believes his
brother could
have been
cal University, a chair professor at
Peking University and the director of
the Chinese Institute for Brain Re-
search, in Beijing. Americans may have lost faith in their
most cherished institutions the
presidency, Congress, the media,
perhaps even democracy itself but
65 percent of them still believe in Dr.
Anthony Fauci.
This, in spite of the fact that hes
practically disappeared from network
and cable television while the pan-
demic has whipped through the coun-
try with alarming speed (his message
of sober realism does not, one sus-
pects, align well with the wishful
thinking of his boss).
This, in spite of the fact that the
Trump White House waged a highly
unusual campaign last week to under-
mine his credibility, with both named
and unnamed administration officials
dispatched to impale him like an hors
doeuvre. Fauci has been the director
of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases since 1984, and
hes been the custodian of a jittery
nations sanity since March 2020.
We had a chance to speak on Tues-
day, nine hours before the presidents
first coronavirus news briefing since
April. Here are edited excerpts from
our conversation. ARE YOU GOING TO BE AT THE PRESS
BRIEFING THIS AFTERNOON? To be honest with you, I dont know.
They havent really said whos going to
be there. I would assume, but I dont
know as a fact if I am going to be
No. But thats not unlike them all of
a sudden, middle of the day, to say, Be
down there at five oclock. So Im not
too whats the right word? sur-
prised that I havent heard anything
yet. (Mr. Fauci, as it turns out, was not
invited to the news briefing). INTERESTING. THAT MEANS YOU WERENT
You know, it depends on how it goes.
If they stick to public health and dont get diverted into other types of discus-
sions, I think it could be productive.
It would be better if things were a
little more uniform. It just seems that
unfortunately, in some sectors, theres
this feeling that theres opening the
country on one end of the spectrum,
and public health measures that sup-
press things and lock them down on
the other. They should not be opposing forces.
The guidelines that we put out a cou-
ple of months ago, those should be followed and appre-
ciated as the vehicle
to open the country,
as opposed to the
obstacle to opening
the country. YOU SAID IT WOULD
UNIFORM. LIKE WHAT? The fundamentals.
Wear a mask. Avoid
crowds. Close the bars. Bars are the
hot spots
PULL? But Jennifer, would you want me to
say something thats directly contrary
to what the president is doing? Thats
not helpful. Then all of a sudden you
dont hear from me for a while. I DEFINITELY DONT WANT ANYONE WEAP-
ONIZING ANYTHING YOURE SAYING. Ive just been doing this for so long,
and Im trying to do my best to get the
message across without being overtly
at odds, OK? The only thing I can do is
to get out there with whatever notori-
ety or recognition I have and say,
these are the four or five things.
Please pay attention to them. And if
we do that, I feel confident that well
turn this around.
What Ive been trying to do is ap-
peal to the younger generation. If you
look at the age average of the new
cases that are going on in the South,
its about 10 to 15 years younger than
what we previously saw. So its clear whats going on. Young
people are saying to themselves: Wait
a minute. Im young, Im healthy. The
chances of my getting seriously ill are
very low. And in fact, it is about a 20 to
40 percent likelihood that I wont have
any symptoms at all. So why should I
bother? What theyre missing is something
fundamental: By getting infected them-
selves even if they never get a
symptom they are part of the propa-
gation of a pandemic. They are fueling
the pandemic. We have to keep ham-
mering that home, because, as much as
they do that, theyre completely relin-
quishing their societal responsibility. HOW MUCH FAITH DO YOU HAVE IN PEOPLE
Its disconcerting when you see
people are not listening. I could show
you some of the emails and texts I get everybody seems to have my cell-
phone number that are pretty hos-
tile about what Im doing, as if Im
encroaching upon their individual
Its not good.
CONTRADICT THE MAN YOU WORK FOR. Im a pretty good communicator. I
have been doing that now with multi-
ple outbreaks for about 40 years, dat-
ing back to the very early years of
H.I.V., Im just going to continue to use
whatever bully pulpit I have. And, you
know, just keep hacking at it. ARE YOU REACHING OUT TO INDIVIDUAL
GOVERNORS? The governors call me frequently.
Its not a rare situation where gover-
nors and senators get on the phone
with me and in good faith ask, What
do you think I should be doing? What
about this? What should I do about
I havent specifically spoken to
Kemp, no.
ANY OF HIS FOLKS? No. I mean I think they know better.
That Im in a sensitive position. IS THERE A TIME IN RECENT AMERICAN
DEMIC UNDER CONTROL? In some respects, we are better off
because of the technological advances.
I mean, 20 years ago, we never would
have been able to get candidate vac-
cines ready to go into Phase 3 trials
literally within a few months of the
discovery of the new virus. That is
unprecedented. But there was a time when there
was much more faith and confidence in
authority and in government. Its very,
very difficult to get the country to pull
together in a real unified way. Maybe
the last time that we ever did that was
Absolutely! You know, its extremely
unique, and I think that is one of the
reasons why there is such confusion
and misunderstanding about the seri-
ousness of it. Of all the viruses and
outbreaks that I have been involved
with over the last four decades, I have
never seen a virus in which the spec-
trum of seriousness is soextreme. This
disease goes from nothing to death! So
that has really surprised me. IS THERE NOTHING ELSE LIKE THIS IN
NATURE? There are extreme differences in
certain diseases, but none that have
exploded into pandemic proportions.
I think its going to be sometime in
2021. I dont know whether thats going
to be the first quarter of 2021, the first
half its difficult to say.
SNAFUS. We dont think thats going to hap-
pen, for the simple reason that the
federal government has invested bil-
lions of dollars directly directly
into the pharmaceutical companies
that are making the vaccine. There are
never any guarantees. But I would be
surprised, given all the resources that
the federal government has put into
these companies. We are counting on
them for delivery.
RESPONSE. Right. There certainly has.
I JUST WANT TO KNOW: ARE YOU? I characterize myself as a realist.
I spoke with Anthony Fauci. He says his inbox isnt pretty.
An interview
with the man
who has an
message for
you if he
can get it out.Jennifer Senior
Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House in April. ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGESUn
prec ed ent edtimes .
Un parallele dcoverag e.
Subscribe toThe NewY ork Times
Interna tionalEdition.
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Michael Richard Clifford, a 66-year-old
retired astronaut living in Cary, N.C.,
learned before his third spaceflight
that he had Parkinsons disease. He
was only 44 and in excellent health at
the time, and he had no family history
of this disabling neurological disorder.
What he did have was years of expo-
sure to numerous toxic chemicals,
several of which have since been
shown in animal studies to cause the
kind of brain damage and symptoms
that afflict people with Parkinsons. As a youngster, Mr. Clifford said, he
worked in a gas station using de-
greasers to clean car engines. He also
worked on a farm where he used pesti-
cides and in fields where DDT was
sprayed. Then, as an aviator, he
cleaned engines to ready them for test
flights. But at none of these jobs was
he protected from exposure to hazard-
ous chemicals that are readily inhaled
or absorbed through the skin.
Now Mr. Clifford, a lifelong non-
smoker, believes that his close contact
with these various substances explains
why he developed Parkinsons disease
when he was so young. Several of the
chemicals have strong links to Parkin-
sons, and a growing body of evidence
suggests that exposure to them may
very well account for the sharp rise in
the diagnosis of Parkinsons in recent
To be sure, the medical literature is
replete with associations between
peoples habits and exposures and
their subsequent risk of developing
various ailments such as allergies,
heart disease and cancer. Such links do
not and cannot by themselves
prove cause and effect. Sometimes, though, the links are so
strong and the evidence so compelling
that there can be little doubt that one
causes the other. The link of cigarette smoking to lung
cancer is a classic example. Despite
tobacco industry claims that there was
no definitive proof, the accumulation of
evidence, both experimental and epi-
demiological, eventually made it im-
possible to deny that years of smoking
can cause cancer, even long after a
person has quit.
The criteria that supported a cause-
and-effect relationship between smok-
ing and lung cancer included strength
and consistency of the association;
whether the link made biological
sense; whether it applied especially or
specifically to those exposed to the
putative agent; and whether it was
supported by experimental evidence.
Likewise, based on extensive evi-
dence presented by four experts in a
new book, Ending Parkinsons Dis-
ease, it seems shortsighted to deny a
causative link between some cases of Parkinsons disease and exposure to
various toxic chemicals.
The book was written by Dr. Ray
Dorsey, a neurologist at the University
of Rochester; Todd Sherer, a neurosci-
entist at the Michael J. Fox Foundation
for Parkinsons Research; Dr. Michael
S. Okun, a neurologist at the Univer-
sity of Florida; and Dr. Bastiaan R.
Bloem, a neurologist at Radboud Uni-
versity Nijmegen Medical Center in
the Netherlands. The authors called the increasing
prominence of Parkinsons a man-
made pandemic. Its prevalence has
closely tracked the growth of industri-
alization and has increased sharply
with the global use of pesticides, indus-
trial solvents and degreasing agents. Over the last 25 years, the authors
noted, the prevalence rates for
Parkinsons, adjusted for age, in-
creased by 22 percent for the world, by
30 percent for India, and by 116 percent
for China.
Furthermore, they added, men, who
are more likely to work in occupations
that expose them to industrial prod-
ucts linked to the disease, have a 40
percent greater risk than women of
developing it.
But no one is being spared a poten- tial risk. Among other exposures, a
solvent called trichloroethylene, or
TCE, linked to Parkinsons, is so wide-
spread in the American environment
that nearly everyone has been exposed
to it. It contaminates up to 30 percent
of the countrys drinking water and
evaporates readily, so it can enter
homes undetected through the air.
Yet a proposed ban on the use of
TCE was postponed indefinitely in 2017
by the Environmental Protection
Agency, as was a ban on the nerve
toxin chlorpyrifos, an insecticide linked
to Parkinsons that is widely used on
crops and golf courses.
Another prominent toxin, the pesti-
cide paraquat, can increase the risk of
Parkinsons by 150 percent. It has been
banned by 32 countries, including
China, but not by the United States,
where use on agricultural fields has
doubled during the last decade, the
authors noted. Both TCE and paraquat
were banned years ago in the Nether-
lands, and the incidence of Parkinsons
there has since declined.
As with smoking, which doesnt
cause cancer in all smokers, most
cases of Parkinsons are likely to re-
flect an interaction between envi-
ronmental exposures and genetic predisposition. But also as with cancer
and smoking, criteria that strongly
suggest a cause-and-effect relationship
apply as well to chemical exposure and
the development of Parkinsons dis-
ease. In fact, a pioneering study in
California by Dr. Caroline Tanner and
Dr. William Langston of more than
17,000 twin brothers, both fraternal and
identical, suggested that environmen-
tal factors outranked genetics as a
cause of Parkinsons.
Thirty years ago, researchers at
Emory University in Atlanta showed
that rats developed classic features of
Parkinsons when given rotenone, then
a popular household insecticide that is
still used by fisheries to eliminate
invasive species. When the re-
searchers examined the rats brains,
they found a loss of nerve cells that
produce dopamine, the same damage
that afflicts people with Parkinsons. Dr. Langston and Dr. Tanner later
showed that farmers who used rote-
none and paraquat, among other pesti-
cides, were more than twice as likely to
develop Parkinsons as those who did
not use these chemicals. In laboratory
studies, the Parkinson-associated
chemicals have been shown to injure
nerve cells. Although Parkinsons is most likely
to afflict older people, its rise has far
exceeded the aging of the population.
From 1990 to 2015, the number of
people afflicted globally more than
doubled, from 2.6 million to 6.3 million,
and it could reach 12.9 million by 2040. The disease is progressive, charac-
terized by tremors, stiffness, slow
movements, difficulty walking and
balance problems. It can also cause
loss of smell, constipation, sleep dis-
orders and depression. While there are
medications that can alleviate symp-
toms, there is as yet no cure. People
can live with gradually worsening
symptoms for decades, resulting in a
huge burden on caregivers.
And the economic burden of Parkin-
sons is huge, said Dr. Tanner, now a
neurologist and environmental health
scientist at the University of California,
San Francisco. In 2017, it resulted in
about $25 billion in direct medical costs
and another $26 billion in indirect
costs, she said. In addition to preventing exposure
to toxic chemicals, Dr. Tanner said that
regular exercise and a healthy diet can
reduce the risk of Parkinsons, even in
people who were occupationally ex-
posed to nerve toxins.
Rise in Parkinsons linked to toxins
Personal Health
The Italians have a wonderful expres-
sion for how our lives get upended when
we least expect it: lupus in fabula. It
means the wolf in the fairy tale. Just when life is going swimmingly,
along comes a demon, a dragon, a diag-
nosis, a downsizing. Just when our fairy
tale seems poised to come true, a big,
scary thing threatens to destroy every-
thing around it. Today, for the first time in over a cen-
tury, the entire planet is confronting the
same wolf at the same time. We are re-
considering how we care for our fam-
ilies, what gives us meaning. The way
we cope with such changes is called a
life transition, and learning to master
these challenging periods just may be
the most essential life skill each of us
needs right now. I spent the last five years talking to
people about the biggest transitions of
their lives. Spurred by a set of personal
crises a cancer diagnosis, a near
bankruptcy, a suicide attempt by my fa-
ther I crisscrossed the United States,
collecting the life stories of hundreds of
people who had been through wrench-
ing life changes. I then spent a year
combing through those stories, teasing
out patterns and takeaways that can
help all of us battle our wolves more ef-
Here are five tips that you or your
loved ones can use that will make what-
ever life transition youre experiencing
go more efficiently.
Once you enter a transition, you often
feel either chaotic and out of control or
sluggish and stuck in place. But my con-
versations suggest there is surprising
order to these times. For starters, transitions have three
phases. I call them the long goodbye,
in which you mourn the old you; the
messy middle, in which you shed habits
and create new ones; and the new be-
ginning, in which you unveil your fresh self. These phases need not happen in
order. Each person tends to gravitate to
the phase theyre best at (their transi-
tion superpower) and get bogged down
in the one theyre weakest at (their tran-
sition kryptonite).
While 40 percent find saying goodbye
the hardest, others are quick to shut
doors. While nearly half say the messy
middle is hardest, others relish it. Jenny
Wynn, a minister in Scottsdale, Ariz., ini-
tially resisted the call to replace her sen-
ior minister at a previous church after
he died suddenly. But once she accepted,
she thrived. She took a sabbatical, be-
gan drawing, had his office repainted. I
needed time to transition my own think-
ing, she said, and I needed the congre-
gation to transition how they thought of
I asked all the people I interviewed the
greatest emotion they struggled with during their transition. At 27 percent,
fear was the most popular reaction, fol-
lowed by sadness and shame. Some peo-
ple coped with these emotions by writ-
ing down their feelings; others plunged
into new tasks.
But nearly eight in 10 said they turned
to rituals. They sang, danced, hugged,
purged, sky-dived. They changed their
names, went to sweat lodges, got tat-
toos. Following a brutal year in which she
lost her job in Hollywood, had a blowup
with her mother and went on 52 first
dates, Lisa Rae Rosenberg jumped out
of an airplane. I had a terrible fear of heights, and I
thought, if I can figure this out, I can fig-
ure anything out. A year later she was
married with a child.
Once we enter the messy middle, we
shed things: mind-sets, routines, delu- sions, dreams. Like animals who molt
when they enter a new phase, we cast off
parts of our personality or bad habits.
After Michael Mitchell, a hard-driv-
ing urologist from Wisconsin, retired
from four decades in medicine, he had to
dispense with the idea that he should al-
ways be doing something constructive. After Loretta Parham, a librarian in
Atlanta, lost her daughter in a car acci-
dent and stepped in to raise her grand-
daughters, she had to give up merely in-
dulging them and instead become more
of a disciplinarian. After John Austin stepped down from
25 years as a Drug Enforcement Admin-
istration agent, he had to get used to not
having a gun. Wait, now I have to persuade people
to listen to me? I used to be able to com-
pel them. Shedding is a way to clear out some
unwanted parts of our lives to make way
for the new parts to come. TRY SOMETHING CREATIVE
In a pattern I didnt see coming, a re-
markable number of people I inter-
viewed turned to creativity while under-
going the shifts in their lives. They start
to dance, cook, paint; they write poems,
thank-you notes, diary entries.
At the moment of greatest chaos, they
respond with creation. Sarah Rose Siskind, a firebrand intel-
lectual from California, learned to play
the ukulele while going through a de-
pression after leaving her job as a writer
and renouncing her conservative views. Dwayne Hayes, a computer program-
mer in Michigan, was so shaken after
his wife gave birth to stillborn twins that
he quit his job and started a magazine
about fatherhood. Helen Kim, who stepped down from
teaching college biology in the wake of
her stomach cancer, fulfilled a girlhood
dream by taking classes in adult ballet. What people seem to crave from these
acts is a fresh start.
A life transition is fundamentally a
meaning-making exercise. It is an auto-
biographical occasion, in which we are
called on to revise and retell our life
stories, adding a new chapter in which
we find meaning in major life disrup-
tions or lifequakes, as I call them.
The lifequake itself may have been pos-
itive or negative, but the story we tell
about it has an ending thats upbeat and
forward-looking. And that may be the greatest lesson of
all: We control the stories we tell about
our transitions. Instead of viewing them
as periods we have to grind our way
through, we should see them for what
they are: healing periods that take the
frightened parts of our lives and begin to
repair them. We cant keep the wolves from inter-
rupting our fairy tales, and thats OK.
Because if you banish the wolf, you ban-
ish the hero. And if theres one thing Ive
learned its that we all need to be the
hero of our own story.
Taming the chaos when it arises
Lessons in moving on
when major challenges
disrupt your life story
Bruce Feileris the author of The New
York Times column This Life. This arti-
cle is adapted from his new book, Life Is
in the Transitions: Mastering Change at
Any Age. In the heated debate over reopening
schools, one burning question has been
whether and how efficiently children
can spread the virus to others.
A large new study from South Korea
offers an answer: Children younger
than 10 transmit to others much less of-
ten than adults do, but the risk is not
zero. And those between the ages of 10
and 19 can spread the virus at least as
well as adults do.
The findings suggest that as schools
reopen, communities will see clusters of
infection take root that include children
of all ages, several experts cautioned. I fear that there has been this sense
that kids just wont get infected or dont
get infected in the same way as adults,
and that therefore theyre almost like a
bubbled population, said Michael Os-
terholm, an infectious diseases expert at
the University of Minnesota.
There will be transmission, Dr. Os-
terholm said. What we have to do is ac-
cept that now and include that in our
plans. Several studies from Europe and Asia
have suggested that young children are
less likely to get infected and spread the
virus. But most of those studies were
small and flawed, said Dr. Ashish Jha,
director of the Harvard Global Health
Institute. The new study is very carefully
done; its systematic and looks at a very
large population, Dr. Jha said. Its one
of the best studies weve had to date on
this issue. Other experts also praised the scale
and rigor of the analysis. South Korean
researchers identified 5,706 people who
were the first to report Covid-19 symp-
toms in their households between Jan.
20 and March 27, when schools were
closed, and then traced the 59,073 con-
tacts of these index cases. They tested
all of the household contacts of each pa-
tient, regardless of symptoms, but
tested only symptomatic contacts out-
side the household.
The first person in a household to de-
velop symptoms is not necessarily the
first to have been infected, and the re-
searchers acknowledged this limitation.
Children are also less likely than adults
to show symptoms, so the study may
have underestimated the number of
children who set off the chain of trans-
mission within their households. Still, experts said the approach was
reasonable. It is also from a place with
great contact tracing, done at the point
interventions were being put in place,
said Bill Hanage, an epidemiologist at
the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public
Children under 10 were roughly half
as likely as adults to spread the virus to
others, a finding consistent with other
studies. That may be because children
generally exhale less air and there-
fore less virus-laden air or because
they exhale that air closer to the ground,
making it less likely that adults will
breathe it in. Even so, the number of new infections
seeded by children may rise when
schools reopen, the study authors cau-
tioned. Young children may show higher at-
tack rates when the school closure ends,
contributing to community transmis-
sion of Covid-19, they wrote. Other studies have also suggested
that the large number of contacts for
schoolchildren, who interact with doz-
ens of others for a good part of the day,
may cancel out their smaller risk of in-
fecting others. The study is more worrisome for chil-
dren in middle and high school. This
group was even more likely to infect oth-
ers than adults were, the study found.
But some experts said that finding may
be a fluke or may stem from the chil-
drens behaviors. These older children are frequently as
big as adults and yet may have some of
the same unhygienic habits as young
children do. They may also have been
more likely than the younger children to
socialize with their peers. We can speculate all day about this,
but we just dont know, Dr. Osterholm
said. The bottom line message is:
Theres going to be transmission. He and other experts said schools
would need to prepare for infections to
pop up. Apart from implementing physi-
cal distancing, hand hygiene and masks,
schools should also decide when and
how to test students and staff members
including, for example, bus drivers
when and how long to require people to
quarantine and when to decide to close
and reopen schools.
Korea tests
find risks
in reopening
Testing for the coronavirus in Daejeon,
South Korea, this month.

The National Football League plays
games in rainstorms, blizzards and blaz-
ing heat. Now, the league wants to play
in a pandemic.
On Monday, rookies from the Kansas
City Chiefs and the Houston Texans
were the first of thousands of players to
report to training camp after an off-sea-
son of virtual workouts. They will be fol-
lowed by other rookies, quarterbacks,
injured players and then all other play-
The leagues insistence on sticking to
the pledge to start its season on time
comes as infections from the coro-
navirus rise in dozens of states, includ-
ing California, Florida and Texas, which
together are home to eight N.F.L. teams.
The owners and the N.F.L. Players As-
sociation have worked for months to
find ways to bring players back together
as safely as possible. They have estab-
lished protocols for how players should
socially distance when they travel and
use locker rooms and how long they
must be quarantined if they test positive
for the virus or have been in contact with
an infected person. But the two sides have still not agreed
on several other key issues, including
implications for players who opt out of
the season, mandates on equipment
that would limit the potential for spread-
ing the virus like face shields on helmets
and the length of the preseason (owners
passed a proposal for two games per
team; players want none). On Monday,
the league and the union agreed on daily
player testing for the coronavirus for at
least the first two weeks of training
camp. These open questions have prompted
top stars in the league, like Patrick Ma-
homes and J.J. Watt, to start a social me-
dia campaign using the hashtag #We-
WantToPlay to get the league to adopt
the more stringent proposals that the
players prefer, including daily testing
and no preseason games. If the NFL doesnt do their part to
keep players healthy there is no football
in 2020, New Orleans Saints quarter-
back Drew Brees wrote on Twitter on
Sunday. Its that simple. Get it done. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Rus-
sell Wilson made a more personal plea.
My wife is pregnant, he wrote on Twit- ter. We want to play football but we also
want to protect our loved ones.
The players and their union have
asked for more measures to mitigate
risk, but they recognize that the owners
have the power to open training camps
when they want. DeMaurice Smith, the
unions executive director, compared
the team owners to a factory proprietor
who decides when to operate a plant. Because the owners plan to open
training camps on schedule, it is the un-
ions job to hold them accountable for
whether it is safe, Smith told reporters
on a conference call last Friday. The players taking their case to mil-
lions of followers on social media is one
way to try to keep management ac-
countable and to win in the court of
public approval. Before agreeing to a 60-
game season, Major League Baseball
players engaged in an acrimonious ne-
gotiation with its league last month over
many of the same issues.
In the past week, the N.F.L. Players
Association has taken a similar ap-
proach, enlisting well-known players
like San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman to argue for more
stringent health protocols. But because
the owners have the right to open camp
when they want, and because fans are
eager to watch football again, it is not
clear whether the players will gain
The only realistic leverage the play-
ers have is their star power, because on
the legal side theres not much they can
do, said Mark Conrad, who teaches
sports law at the Gabelli School School
of Business at Fordham University in
New York. Football is also tantamount
to religion for a lot of fans, and they want
to see football, so I dont know how effec-
tive these tweets will be. The N.F.L.s chief medical officer, Al-
len Sills, said that there was little day-
light between the league and the union
when it came to safety protocols. The
two sides agreed that players would be
tested every day for the first two weeks,
then every other day. If more than 5 per-
cent of tests are positive in the first two
weeks, teams will continue testing ev-
ery day. But he warned that tests were not per- fectly accurate and that additional
measures protective equipment, so-
cial distancing and contact tracing
were also needed.
We know that we cant eliminate
risk, but were trying to mitigate risk for
everyone, Sills said. We cant test our
way to safety. At least one team has decided that it
needs more time to prepare to practice.
The Miami Dolphins, who play in South
Florida, where infections are rising rap-
idly, let rookies report two days later
than most teams. Some players have accused the team
owners of prioritizing the leagues fi-
nances over all else. One former team
executive, Amy Trask, said that the
leagues decision to stick to its schedule
spoke more to its confidence that it
would ultimately find solutions than to a
cavalier attitude about player safety. Of course, economics play a big part
of it, said Trask, the longtime president
of the Raiders who left the club in 2013.
But from a business perspective, I
dont think the outlook of team owners is
Were tough, but Were smart.
While the two sides wrangle over
safety measures, they are also negotiat-
ing over a second pressing matter: how
to offset the loss of revenue from having
a limited number or no fans in stadiums
this season. The owners proposed keep-
ing 35 percent of players salaries in es-
crow as a way to recoup that money as
quickly as possible. That was a nonstart-
er for the union, which prefers to absorb
the losses by lowering the salary cap,
which is the maximum teams can pay
players, over as many as 10 years.
We know that players are taking all
of the risk by returning to work, the un-
ion said in a statement last week. We
also know there will be a shortfall in rev-
enues next year, but players cannot be
asked to bear the full brunt of both the
health and safety risk and the financial
one. The financial formula, though, does not need to be agreed on by the start of
training camp. The more pressing mat-
ter for the players is how to safely start
the season.
In addition to the coronavirus, they
are concerned about a possible spike in
injuries after a long layoff. They point to
2011, when players were locked out by
the owners during the off-season and
sustained a rash of injuries during train-
ing camp. While the mens and womens profes-
sional basketball and soccer leagues
have resumed their seasons by quaran-
tining players in enclosed communities,
Major League Baseball and the N.F.L.
have chosen to let players return to their
homes at night after training, increasing
their risk of exposure to the virus. The league and its players will soon
find out whether the protections in place
are enough, or whether more steps will
be needed to keep the schedule on track. Every decision we make this year
should be done through a medical lens,
said J.C. Tretter, a center on the Cleve-
land Browns and the president of the un-
ion. No one can wish this away.
Players press owners for safety measures
Left, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks wrote on Twitter that his wife, Ciara, is pregnant and that players want to protect their loved ones. Right, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans has questioned the N.F.L.s safety protocols. KIRBY LEE/USA TODAY SPORTS, VIA REUTERS CHRIS TILLEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
If the NFL doesnt do their part
to keep players healthy there is
no football in 2020.NON SEQUITUR PEANUTS
Answers to Previous Puzzles
Created by Peter Ritmeester/Presented by Will Shortz
SUDOKU No. 2407
Fill the grid so
that every row,
column 3x3 box
and shaded 3x3
box contains
each of the
1 to 9 exactly
Fill the grids with digits so as not
to repeat a digit in any row or
column, and so that the digits
within each heavily outlined box
will produce the target number
shown, by using addition,
subtraction, multiplication or
division, as indicated in the box.
A 4x4 grid will use the digits
1-4. A 6x6 grid will use 1-6.
For solving tips and more KenKen
kenken. For Feedback: nytimes@
For solving tips
and more puzzles:
KenKen® is a registered trademark of Nextoy, LLC.
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved.
(c) Distributed by The New York Times syndicate
Solution No. 2307 CROSSWORD | Edited by Will Shortz
1 Rock in which fossils can be found
6 Pub purchase
10 Property of a subatomic particle
14 Character of Apple products
16 Common ingredient in a poke bowl
17 Off-roadable
18 Southern university named for its town
19 Final challenge of a video game level
20 Edisons middle name
21 Place for a nursery rhyme trio
22 G.I. grub
23 Listing in an arcade
30 First name of the only fictional character in Time’s list of the 100 Most Important People of the Century
32 Mine, in Montréal
34 “___ victory!”
36 Ish
37 Similar (to)
38 Leader memorialized by the Stone of Hope statue near the National Mall
39 Perfume compound
40 A lot of volume?
41 Often-counterfeited boots
42 Stock character?
44 National park sights, for short
45 Pasta name suffix
46 Free money?
47 Wrestling hold
54 “The Bell of ___” (Longfellow poem)
55 Showing things as they really are
56 Heavy metal
57 Compressed storage media
58 Hang around
59 Rely (on)
60 Regales
1 Piece of concrete
2 Prefix with -gram
3 They have boring jobs
4 Looks the other way
5 Greek personification of darkness
6 Auditioner’s hope
7 Attends
8 Author Gaiman of the “Sandman” series
9 Point on a buck
10 Cartoon referenced in the Walt Disney Animation Studios logo
11 Flex one’s authority over
12 Trying to untie?
13 Family nickname
15 Maryland specialty
23 Bit of poetry with the same syllable count as this very clue
24 Resettled, in a way
25 Blowing up online
26 Wordsworth, e.g.
27 Total
28 Venerable sort
29 Admire, as a lover’s eyes
31 Salon product
43 Singular event
46 It became a province of Indonesia in 1958
47 Web developer’s code
48 Racer Luyendyk
49 ___ Brasi (“The Godfather” role)
50 Nonflowering plant
51 What might block a channel
52 “You want a piece ___?”
53 Jonathan Van ___, member of the “Queer Eye” cast
PUZZLE BY GRANT THACKRAY Solution to July 23 Puzzle
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16
17 18
19 20
21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
32 33 34
35 36 37
38 39 40
41 42 43
44 45
46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53
54 55
56 57
58 59 60

Colin Huggins, the piano man of Wash-
ington Square Park, sat at his Steinway
baby grand the other day playing one of
Claude Debussys frolicking ara-
besques. A few onlookers wore surgical
masks and listened from benches. Else-
where in the park, a Black Lives Matter
protest was starting and a worker
climbed up a ladder to scrub away graf-
fiti from the Washington Arch.
Mr. Huggins, 42, then stood on top of
his piano stool to address his sparse au-
dience. This next one is by Franz Liszt, he
said. Ill be back tomorrow. After that, I
dont know. Ive been trying to figure
things out these last few weeks. Youre
welcome to put a donation into these
buckets near my piano. Mr. Huggins faced a lean day ahead.
That afternoon, just a few people slipped
$1 and $5 bills into his donation buckets
as he played Chopin and Philip Glass,
whereas normally, Mr. Huggins can
make a decent sum in a couple of hours.
For the last 15 years, Mr. Huggins, a
slender and studious-looking man with
tattooed hands, has been a superstar
busker in Washington Square Park, per-
forming to big crowds who fall under the
sway of his balletic playing and the
striking sight of seeing someone per-
form outdoors on a 900-pound Steinway.
With his classical piano act, Mr. Huggins
has earned enough money to survive
modestly in New York for years, but that
livelihood is held together by a deli-
cately calibrated system, and the pan-
demic has obliterated it. Mr. Huggins is now facing the stark
uncertainty that every street performer
in the city is reckoning with: no tourists,
and the audiences that do show up are
thin, hesitant and socially distant.
His bills have piled up. Hes late on his
rent. And his income, he said, is less than
half of what it used to be. Mr. Huggins
typically performed long sets on Satur-
days and Sundays, but to make ends
meet he recently played for two weeks
straight, until he was delirious with ex-
haustion. When he couldnt perform in
the park at all when, like the rest of
the city, he was in strict quarantine he
hunkered down in his small apartment
on St. Marks Place, taping together
ripped dollar bills that he had received
over the years to amass enough cash for
a frozen pizza. The other day, when he saw his land-
lord walking down the street, he broke
away mid-conversation with someone
to jog up to him and assure him that he
was going to make good on his rent soon.
That afternoon, he let two scruffy young
men who have been living in Washing-
ton Square Park, and who were sorely in
need of a shower, freshen up in his apart-
ment. Everyone just thinks of me as the pi-
ano guy and they want me to play my
music, he said. No one ever thinks
about what Im going through as a per-
son during all of this. The other burden in Mr. Hugginss life
at the moment weighs 900 pounds: his 1959 Steinway baby grand. The enor-
mous instrument is integral to his per-
formances he invites people to lie be-
neath it and be cocooned in a wall of
sound while he plays but playing it re-
quires him to heave it to and from Wash-
ington Square Park constantly.
He has long engaged in this laborious
routine, hauling it like a boulder through
city streets with an intricate system of
ropes and dollies. But recently, the mat-
ter of the Steinways storage became a
serious problem, forcing Mr. Huggins to heave it across downtown Manhattan
throughout the pandemic in a scramble
to find a home for it.
In March, the Steinway was stored in
a small street-level space he was renting
in Alphabet City. When the pandemic
took hold, he said, drug dealers began
hanging out around the building, and he
had a fallout with his landlords. Next, he
made arrangements to keep the Stein-
way in a shuttered vegan restaurant on
St. Marks Place, and he pushed it there
during a night of protests in May, shov- ing it past trash fires and chanting
crowds. Recently, the restaurant made
plans to reopen, so Mr. Huggins needed
to start his search again.
When Mr. Huggins started busking in
2007, he played on a battered upright pi-
ano that he bought online. In 2018, he ob-
tained the Steinway through a crowd-
funding initiative, and it has since be-
come the majestic lure that helps draw
audiences to him. Because of all the
bumping and thumping the Steinway
endures, he employs a piano tuner named Arpad Maklary, 51, who visits
him regularly in Washington Square
As Mr. Maklary recently assessed Mr.
Hugginss Steinway, he said that times
were tough for him, too, because he usu-
ally works on pianos for New York Uni-
versity. Im lucky I sold a piano just be-
fore this all happened, he said. Im still
gnawing off the legs of that sale. During lockdown, Mr. Huggins tried
to adapt his act. Alongside clips of fa-
mous movie scenes, he live-streamed improvisations on the upright in his liv-
ing room, which brought in some dona-
tions, but he found the experience dis-
heartening. It feels like youre perform-
ing to your iPad, he said. I felt like I
wasnt connecting with my audience
Most people follow the money, but I
dont do that, he added. Im a street
performer. I follow the emotional expe-
rience and the ability to give someone a
powerful experience. It means Im poor,
but so what. Mr. Huggins grew up in Decatur, Ga.,
and he briefly studied at a state music
conservatory. In 2003, he moved to New
York and became an accompanist for
the American Ballet Theater. A couple of
years later, he tried busking in Union
Square, and he found the experience ex-
hilarating. Gradually, he became a full-
time street performer.
In late June, Mr. Huggins posted a
message to his Instagram announcing
that he might have to leave New York
and that his next performance in the
park could be his last. Since then, dona-
tions have streamed in, buying Mr. Hug-
gins some time. Im thankful, but I cant rely on char-
ity forever, he said. My parents have a
big place in Virginia, so I could put ev-
erything I have in a truck and head
there, I guess, but I want to do whatever
I can before that happens. Early this month, Mr. Huggins finally
got some good news: Judson Memorial
Church, which is conveniently situated
opposite Washington Square Park, of-
fered him temporary storage in its base-
ment. The other day, he got ready to play in
the park, and he began the process of
moving the Steinway into the churchs
little elevator. He wrestled with the pi-
ano, pushing his wiry legs against a wall
to cram it through the elevators doors.
Outside, as he dragged it toward the
park, he saw a group of police officers
and paramedics gathered around the
parks fountain. They had surrounded a young man
who recently started living in the foun-
tain along with the comforts of a
couch and a sun umbrella and was
now refusing to leave. He was naked,
and he yelled as they tried to remove
Mr. Huggins approached Jimmy
Pearl, 63, a musician who wore Ray-
Bans and lots of silver jewelry. Pearl, what happened? he said.
Theyre taking Jesus out. Hes been
disrupting the park. He even got into a
fight with Ronnie the Birdman. The paramedics finally carried Jesus
into an ambulance. Youre late today, Mr. Pearl noted.
Im still figuring things out, Mr.
Huggins said. Settled at his usual spot, Mr. Huggins
started untying ropes and hoisting the
Steinway into place. Soon, the music of
Chopin and Scriabin would float through
the park. Yet again, his audience would
be small.
Mr. Pearl, who is a familiar face in the
park, was aware of his fellow musicians
travails, but he was optimistic. He sug-
gested that maybe the city itself would
look out for the piano man. No one else here plays as beautifully
as Colin does, Mr. Pearl said. I dont
think the park will let him leave New
Hard times for a busker with a baby grand
For the last 15 years, Colin Huggins, above, has performed classical piano pieces in
Washington Square Park, inviting listeners to lie enveloped in the sound, top. Hauling
his Steinway to and from the park, left, is less stressful for him than finding a place to
store it a task that has become trickier since the pandemic arrived. PHOTOGRAPHS BY SEPTEMBER DAWN BOTTOMS/THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Capitol Crawl, it came to be called.
In March 1990, several dozen activists,
cheered on by supporters, left their
canes and wheelchairs and pulled
themselves up the steep stone steps of
the United States Capitol. They wanted to pressure Congress
into ratifying the Americans With
Disabilities Act. At the heart of what
became a landmark of civil rights
legislation was the elemental role of
architecture and design literally
building accessibility into cities, prod-
ucts, public spaces and workplaces,
without which equity would remain
just talk. Business leaders predicted
doomsday costs if the A.D.A. passed.
The New York Times even published
an editorial titled Blank Check for the
Disabled? Thirty years on, the A.D.A. has
reshaped American architecture and
the way designers and the public have
come to think about civil rights and the
built world. We take for granted the
ubiquity of entry ramps, Braille sign-
age, push buttons at front doors, lever
handles in lieu of doorknobs, widened
public toilets, and warning tiles on
street corners and subway platforms.
New courthouses, schools and muse-
ums no longer default to a flight of
stairs out front to express their elevat-
ed ideals. The A.D.A. has baked a more
egalitarian aesthetic of forms and spaces into the civic DNA.
But theres still a long way to go.
Last fall, the 22,000-square-foot,
$41.5 million Hunters Point branch
library opened in the Queens borough
of New York City. With a soaring interi-
or of vertiginous tiers and zigzagging
stairs, the projects architectural ambi-
tion was obvious and outsized. My
review called it one of the most uplift-
ing public buildings New York had
produced in years. Disability rights advocates saw it
differently. All those stairs and tiers
made certain areas inaccessible to
people in wheelchairs, they pointed
out. How uplifting could a public li-
brary be if some people who ex-
pected, deserved and needed to use it
felt unwelcome?
They were right. I was wrong. City
officials insisted that the building
complied with A.D.A. regulations, in
effect pointing the finger at the law
itself. As Karen Braitmayer, a Seattle
architect and accessibility consultant,
put it, Thats very definitely neither
the spirit nor the goal of the legisla-
The question I wish Id asked at the
time is one that architects and design-
ers might ask themselves more often
today. Bess Williamson, author of
Accessible America, tweeted it when
the library opened: Who sets the
priorities? A public building has everyone as its
client, after all. Does its design evolve
out of a truly collaborative process that
engages, upfront, the diversity of us-
ers, including those with disabilities,
who know best what they need and
want? There is only so much that legisla-
tion can ever do, Xian Horn, a disabili-
ty rights advocate, speaker and teacher in New York, born with cere-
bral palsy, said recently. The issue
goes beyond civil rights. Its also about
hospitality, patronage, a broader vision
of accessibility, and ultimately about
doing whats best for the bottom line.
With one in four American adults
living with disabilities, designing for
accessibility and diversity should
hardly be considered a chore or just a
compliance issue. Its an opportunity,
both economic and creative, but one
that requires a shift in mind-set. A
ramp can be something stuck onto a
building to check off some legal re-
quirement. Or it can inspire the helical design of
the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, Calif., by Leddy Maytum Stacy Archi-
tects. Or the serpentine pathways of
the Robert W. Wilson Overlook that
Weiss/Manfredi, the New York archi-
tecture firm, recently devised to wind
through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Architecture, from Vitruvius
through Le Corbusier, has mirrored
Western culture, for whom the default
user has always been the straight,
white, healthy, tall male, said Joel
Sanders, a New York-based architect
and Yale professor who runs MIXde-
sign, a research group focused on
inclusion. Everyone else, including
those with mobility or cognitive issues,
tends to become an afterthought, a
constraint to creativity, an added cost. Nearly a century ago, tubular steel
inspired both Marcel Breuers Wassily
chair and new, lighter wheelchairs.
Chairs by Charles and Ray Eames,
now classics of midcentury modern-
ism, evolved from a molded plywood
splint the couple devised for wounded
soldiers during World War II. The most beautiful things we de-
sign, as Mr. Sanders put it, are often
the ones whose formal innovation is
the product of a social or cultural
need. A couple of years ago, the Cooper
Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
organized an eye-opening show called
Access+Ability highlighting those
sorts of designs. It included stylish
puffer jackets with Velcro seams and
zip-on sleeves, sold by Target, the
retail giant, and a pair of FlyEase
shoes, designed by Nike in response to
a letter from a college-bound teenager
with cerebral palsy who asked for
sneakers that didnt look like medical
equipment. The sneakers looked fan-
tastic. A term of art emerged during the
1960s and 70s: universal design.
Today, universal design can sound
a little reductive and creaky, with its
implication of a single norm, as if
difference (physical, cognitive, racial,
gender, religious, age, you name it)
boils down to a condition that needs to
be compensated for as if it cant be
something worth celebrating. Theres a
debate in the Deaf community about
cochlear implants, for example, be-
cause to some detractors the implants
imply that deafness is a problem to be
solved, not a culture and condition with
its own history and pride. Noncompliant bodies dont need to
be made whole by designers, as Mr.
Sanders told me. He prefers the term inclusive de-
sign. Call it what you will, examples in-
clude text to speech and the homely
curb cut that little ramp carved into
street corners so wheelchair users can
navigate the six or so vertical inches
between pavement and sidewalk.
Mandated by the A.D.A., during the
last three decades the curb cut has
made daily life easier for countless
shoppers with grocery carts, teenagers
on skateboards, travelers pulling
wheeled bags, parents with strollers
and just about everybody else. As a person with a mobility disabili-
ty who grew into adulthood prior to the
passage of the A.D.A., recalled Ms.
Braitmayer, the architect and consult-
ant, I spent my early years in a com-
munity without curb cuts on the street
corners, without accessible parking at
the neighborhood retail shopping
centers, without wheelchair spaces in
the movie theaters. I appreciate every
time I can now go to a movie and find a
place to sit without being told that if I
sit in the aisle in my wheelchair, I
would be a fire hazard. But for architects and designers,
abiding by the letter of the A.D.A. isnt
the same as internalizing its civil
rights goals, she said. That is what still
remains for architecture to lift itself
into the next realm was Ms. Brait-
mayers phrase. As Ms. Horn, the advocate and
teacher, said, If you make a phone or
a building or a park or a hotel beautiful
and also accessible, it makes life better
for everyone.
Building accessibility in America
Three decades of designing
entry ramps and curb cuts
is merely a good start
Michael Kimmelman is The Timess
architecture critic. He was previously
the chief art critic, and he created the
Abroad column.
Helical design at the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, Calif.

This summer, a coalition of American
theater artists issued a statement, We
See You, White American Theater,
calling for an overhaul of the countrys
theater landscape. There should be
term limits on theater industry leaders
to improve representation, it said, and
at least half of casts and creative
teams should be people of color.
Many of the same issues of repre-
sentation plague the theater in Europe.
Last month, Black Lives Matter pro-
tests sprung up across Britain and
theaters issued messages of support,
as well as statements pledging action
on racism. This month, 400 British
creatives signed an open letter calling
for industry reform. We cannot accept
empty gestures, it said, before listing
five areas for change.
On July 14, Kwame Kwei-Armah, 53,
the artistic director of the Young Vic
theater in London; Julia Wissert, 36,
the artistic director of Schauspiel
Dortmund in Germany; and Eva
Doumbia, 51, the founder of the French
theater company La Part du Pauvre,
met on Zoom to discuss their experi-
ences. Over two hours, the group found
some differences and many similarities
in the theater landscapes of their coun-
tries. When Doumbia (who spoke
through a translator), said she had set
up a festival to present work by Afro-
European writers and directors, Wis-
sert who is the only Black head of a
major theater in Germany replied
that she didnt think that would work
in Germany. If youre too explicit here
when talking about racism, everyone
just freezes, she said. Were all having to negotiate and
shadowbox with white supremacy,
Kwei-Armah said. But the recent Black
Lives Matter protests inspired a
change of mind. I am done, he said. The three also discussed white uni-
versality, decolonizing theater institu-
tions and their issues with the word
diversity. These are edited excerpts
from the conversation.
What is the state of diversity in your
countries theater scenes?
JULIA WISSERT I just hate speaking about
diversity, because Im not interested in
diversity. I dont want to diversify
anything. Im interested in the ques-
tion of representation: Representation
in the structure, in positions of power,
among people who give money to
theaters, artistic directorships. Most of these [people in charge in
Germany] are homogeneous: White,
middle class, mostly male, mostly
cisgender. Its very slowly changing,
but I think were very much at the
beginning of this conversation. When I got my job one journalist
started an interview with, Were you
as shocked about this announcement
as the theater world was? And I can
understand that people thought it was
a surprise because Im obviously way
too young to hold that position, be-
cause you have to be 60 to be an artis-
tic director here, and of course you
have to be male and of course you
shouldnt be Black.
EVA DOUMBIA I dont like talking about
diversity either. When I do, its always
on a diplomatic level more than any- thing. In France, most of the time we
use the idea of diversity as a tool to
polish our racism and put it in opposi-
tion with the racism in the United
States. We call that the real racism.
But the Black Lives Movement and
what happened with George Floyd,
there was a French echo to it with
Adama Traoré [a 24-year-old man who
died in police custody in 2016]. The
Black Lives Matter protests reactivat-
ed those feelings here and its reignited
that issue of representation in society,
in theater.
found in Britain is the people who
invariably are the George Floyds, the
people on the front line, are normally
of African descent. But when it comes
to diversity, we are normally right at
the back of the queue. The history of structural inequality
here has meant there are few Black
British artistic directors who have
been in place for longer than two or
three years. This is a wonderful mo-
ment where we are saying, We want
this time to be about us! And within
the sphere of theater, thats revolution-
ary because it means when I go into an
institution, I have to go in and decolo-
nize not just whats on the stage but
the business model and the culture of
the organization.
Do you feel able to stage plays about the reality of Black lives in your coun-
What tends to happen in
France is we invite people from Africa
directors, creatives. Theres a sort of
comfort that theyre speaking from
their perspective, so its not the view of
someone born in France whos known
its racism since kindergarten. Theres
a sense of confidence that they will
never challenge whats established
We do have French racism talked
about onstage, but its never being
addressed by Black people. Its mainly
white directors making plays for white
audiences. Its OK to have Black per-
formers, actors, dancers, but Black
creators are not as accepted.
WISSERT I would say here its exactly
the same. The biggest discussions
were having at the moment in Ger-
many is the question of white univer-
sality the white body as being neu-
tral and the white artist being able to
speak to any time. Theres no under-
KWEI-ARMAH When we see a white story,
we see a white actor in it and race
becomes secondary. We go, Oh, this is
a story about redemption. But some-
times the white audience will see a
Black face and go, Oh, this is a story
about racism. Or Oh, its for them.
And thats the false binary we need to
defeat. Are diversity targets or quotas the
Can I make an analogy with
the face masks were always talking
about? In a normal world with Covid,
you wouldnt have to tell people to
wear a mask in order not to get sick,
right? And yet you have to tell them.
Its the same with quotas. In a world
with common sense we wouldnt have
to ask for them and yet without them
nothing will be done. Although itd be
hard to have them here, because we
have this huge tradition of official color
blindness. [In France it remains illegal
to collect data on race for almost all
official purposes.]
WISSERT In Germany, I wish we had a
quota because I think, or hope, it would
start a conversation and force col-
leagues to think differently, as well as
give other artists a chance of gaining
positions of power. Ive had enough of
people saying, I really want to do
something. I dont want to hear good
will anymore, because good will didnt
get us anywhere. Id even go further and connect that
quota to subsidies: There are no reper-
cussions at the moment if you dont
have any people of color in your insti-
tution. You can get shamed on social
media and people call you out. But
thats basically it.
Do you have quotas at the Young Vic,
KWEI-ARMAH My previous shadowbox-
ing self would have broken down the
connotations of quotas and tried to
make it sound polite and soft and
nonthreatening to my white colleagues
to not make them worry that some-
how they would lose something that
they were born naturally into. My post-Black Lives Matter self
actually says, I dont understand the
question. Democracy means that you
should reflect your environment. And if
youre not reflecting your environment,
youre suppressing someone. Quotas is
a euphemism for Should we let Black
people in? In truth, incremental change is fine,
but were not in the moment of incre-
mental change.
Theaters across Europe are facing
financial hardship after they were
forced to close because of the coro-
navirus. Are you worried that could
affect efforts to improve diversity?
WISSERT Our season had been an-
nounced when Covid happened. But
what it did for us was allow us to re-
think the idea of what theater really is.
Its a question of: How do we engage
with an audience? What stories are we
actually telling? So we used this crisis
to go to the city and say, Were not
going to make money for maybe two
years, but were going to go out to the
communities and create projects that
can really engage with people who
wouldnt normally come to the theater.
KWEI-ARMAH When we went into Covid,
I was about to announce my new sea-
son and the centerpiece of that was
themed around for want of a better
term a Black British experience.
And as soon as we started hemorrhag-
ing money, I went, Thats the one that
has to go. The writers are not that
well known, and its a big expensive
project. But then Black Lives Matter hap-
pened, and I went: No! Thats got to
be the leader of the pack. Everything
else takes a second seat this now
becomes the zeitgeist since theater
is here to reflect society and speak
about it from its heart. This time has
allowed me to stand in my truth with-
out compromise.
I have to go in and decolonize
Black theater makers
in Europe trade notes
on the state of their art
JEAN-MARC ZAORSKI/GAMMA-RAPHO, VIA GETTY IMAGESClockwise from top left: Kwame Kwei-Armah, of the Young Vic in London; Julia Wis-
sert, of Germanys Schauspiel Dortmund; Eva Doumbia, of La Part du Pauvre in France.
I will never eat bananas near a bee-
hive. The mere thought is enough to
set lively scenes from HONEY AND
VENOM replaying in my minds eye.
Bananas contain a chemical that re-
sembles the substance in honeybees
alarm scent, so the resulting encounter
could turn nasty. Andrew Cotés book is full of facts
like this, interwoven with anecdotes
from his life as an urban beekeeper.
And were not just talking one or two
beehives in a backyard here: Coté
tends hundreds of hives throughout
New York City, high on rooftops, in
parks and gardens. He also travels the
world to talk about beekeeping. Month by month we accompany Coté through the key events in a bee-
keepers calendar, as he weaves in
stories from his life. Cotés relationship
with his father, who initiated his son
into the mysteries of these hard-work-
ing hexapods, is described with great
affection. His journey to urban bee-
keeping is brought to life as he re-
counts often funny or bizarre situa-
tions like rescue operations that
involved swarms of bees that saw fit to
set up house in a church tower or on a
traffic light in New York Citys most
exclusive shopping district.
The books title suits it well: Honey
and Venom isnt all sweet stories.
Bees arent the only ones who can
deliver venomous stings, and now and
then Cotés depictions of the people
who oppose his sticky endeavor can
get to be a bit much. At the same time,
enthusiastic praise for beekeeping is
served up by the ton in this slightly
rambling but informative and enter-
taining memoir.
A lecture on backyard beekeeping at
the library spurs Frank Mortimer to
take his abiding fascination for hon-
eybees to the next level and start out
as a beekeeper. In BEE PEOPLE AND THE
BUGS THEY LOVE, meetings with both
individuals and the local beekeeping
club play a major role as we follow
the authors progress from newbee to
experienced beekeeper. There is no
shortage of eccentrics on hand to offer
Mortimer help and more or less good
advice. All, from oddballs to flagrantly
self-promoting windbags, are de- scribed in an effective, relatable way
that is never malicious more like,
affectionately barbed.
Mortimer presents himself as a bee
nerd, and he offers solid expertise
when it comes to facts about hon-
eybees. For a book so broad in scope,
one could perhaps have wished it to
widen its perspective to include the
role of wild insects when discussing
the significance of pollination. That
said, it is an achievement to convey so
much knowledge so accessibly without
once seeming overbearing. The main
reason it all works is the honest de-
scriptions of friendships that spring up
around a shared, all-absorbing interest
in bees. The book is written in a stylistically
assured voice and with a structure that
makes it easy to follow. And Mortimer
intersperses useful facts about his
passion in a successful and funny book
that is sure to swell the ranks of the
worlds beekeepers.
If you think beekeeping is a quick and easy shortcut to wealth,
HONEY will set you straight. Dave
Doroghy keeps his houseboat moored
on the Fraser River in British Colum-
bia and is not especially interested in
either insects or the intricacies of
nature to start off with. One day, his
sister, a beekeeper, asks if she can set
up a beehive on his back deck. After a
resoundingly successful first season,
Doroghy ends up receiving the hives
15,000-strong population as a Christ-
mas present. And there he finds him-
self: a brand-new adoptive dad with-
out the faintest clue what to do.
One by one, Doroghy makes all the
mistakes a rookie beekeeper possibly
could, and he recounts his failures
here with a humility that borders on
self-flagellation. His detailing of the
practical challenges and his attempted
solutions are honest and often witty.
There are poorly performing queen
bees, wasps to chase away, mite prob-
lems to deal with. Through all his
errors, Doroghy gains growing insight
into all the things that need to work if the bee population is to thrive and his
dreams of a honey-based fortune are
to come true. Knowledge of bees and
beekeeping is worked so naturally into
the story that it never becomes didac-
From time to time, the descriptions
are a bit long-winded and the wise-
cracks on the feeble side, but all in all,
this is a light read on the pleasures
and pains of a beekeeper that will give
you new respect for all the work by
two- and six-legged laborers alike
that goes into producing the spoonful
of honey you stir into your tea.
The title of Helen Jukess book A
as delightful as the book itself, offering
as it does a hint that this will be about
more than hive tools and honey pro-
duction. And indeed this book is just
as much about people and our rela-
tionships with one another as it is
about beekeeping.
After a rootless, itinerant urban life,
Jukes starts a new job in Oxford. There she rents a small house where
she tries to get a grip on her new exist-
ence. Her backyard is just big enough
for a beehive. Having previously been
initiated into urban beekeeping in
London, Jukes now decides to get
some bees of her own. But what does it
really mean to keep bees? Is it about
owning and holding onto or rather
about tending and caring? What is a
home whether a house or a hive
and is it possible to truly tame other
Through such reflections, often
accompanied by references to etymol-
ogy (Jukess friend works for the Ox-
ford English Dictionary), Jukes gently
weaves her personal history into a
larger tale of friendship and responsi-
bility: for one another, and for different
species such as honeybees. This book is not big on action, flow-
ing as slowly as golden honey. And
perhaps it takes a while to grasp its
soul, especially early on. Here, Jukes
reads up on the history of beehives and
beekeeping, and for the remaining
chapters we follow her own bees
through the first season. While you will
undoubtedly learn something new
about bees, this is, first and foremost, a
successful and eloquent piece of mod-
ern nature writing.
Labors of love, dripping slow and sweet
Honey and Venom:
Confessions of an Urban Beekeeper
By Andrew Coté. 295 pp. Ballantine. $27.
Bee People and the Bugs They Love
By Frank Mortimer. 312 pp. Citadel. $25.
Show Me the Honey:
Adventures of an Accidental Apiarist
By Dave Doroghy. 294 pp. Touchwood
Editions. Paper, $20.
A Honeybee Heart Has Five Openings:
A Year of Keeping Bees
By Helen Jukes. 238 pp. Pantheon.
Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson is a professor
of conservation biology and the author
of Extraordinary Insects: The Fabu-
lous, Indispensable Creatures Who
Run Our World, out now in paper-

Last year a friend asked me a question
I had never considered before: Over
the many years I had been writing
about wine, what was the greatest
thing this job had given me?
I answered almost reflexively. As a
New Yorker who has spent most of my
life living in Manhattan, wine had
provided me a connection to nature
that I most likely would never have
experienced otherwise.
Ive thought about this a lot over the
last few weeks, as the pandemic has
now been with us for more than four
months. Most of that time, Ive been in my
apartment, far away from vineyards,
much less anything that might reason-
ably be construed as wild and natural,
like a forest or ocean. I feel the differ-
ence, physically and emotionally. My friend professed surprise at my
answer. He had assumed that I would
cite the wonderful, otherwise inacces-
sible wines I had been able to drink, or
maybe the many intriguing person-
alities in the wine world with whom
Ive spent time. These have been wonderful benefits
as well. If I were not representing
readers of The New York Times, I
would never have had an opportunity,
to drink, say, great old wine made from
grapes harvested in 1846, or to try 16
vintages of Château Lafite Rothschild
going all the way back to 1868.
I also know that my understanding
of wine would not be nearly as rich
without having had the opportunity to
spend time with people as diverse as
Jean-François Fillastre, a little-known
Bordeaux vigneron; Paul Draper, the
longtime guiding force of Ridge Vine-
yards; Bartolo Mascarello, a tireless
defender of ancestral Barolo practices;
María José López de Heredia, an
equally stalwart proponent of tradi-
tional Rioja; and so many others.
But nothing in wine has affected me
so profoundly as observing the inti-
mate relationship that enlightened
farmers have with the land that they
tend. What Ive learned from them has
shaped my outlook in many important
facets of my life: the foods and wines I
buy, the clothes I wear and how I think
about climate change and political
issues. Its also made clear to me how little
we know about the natural world,
particularly the complex and intricate
links that govern the well-being of a
healthy ecosystem, including the net-
work of microbial life in the soil, the
diversity of plant life and the impor-
tance of animal life all the way up to
the apex predator.
Taking away any one link in this
complicated chain can have devastat-
ing consequences to the soil, the air
or even the flavor of the wine in your
glass. Even something as seemingly mun-
dane as putting up a fence, which
might impede animal pathways or
divert the natural flow of water, can
have ripple effects far beyond anything
intended. I would not have grasped any of
these connections had I not spent time
walking the land with people like
Deirdre Heekin of La Garagista in
Vermont; Mimi Casteel of Hope Well in
Oregon; Andy Brennan, who makes
ciders in the Catskills; Steve Matthias- son in Napa Valley; or Arianna Occhip-
inti in the Vittoria region of Sicily.
of this naturally. I was
born in the suburbs to city people. My
father, who grew up Brooklyn, never
left the city until a classmate at New
York University one summer invited
him to visit his familys house upstate. There, the classmate showed him
their property, including a vegetable
garden. As my father liked to tell it, his
friend reached down and pulled up a
carrot and proudly displayed it.
From the dirt? exclaimed my
father, whose sidewalk-and-streets
upbringing had not prepared him for
such a sight.
I, at least, had the opportunity as a
child to go to a camp, to hike and swim
and learn how to gather wood and
build a fire. But as an adult, I have
never hunted or fished. I love to hike,
but not overnight. I prefer running
water and clean sheets to tents and
sleeping bags.
Still, nature has touched me through
wine. Perhaps its an example of bio-
philia, a notion popularized by the
biologist Edward O. Wilson, who pos-
ited that humans possess an innate
love of nature.
I cant say if it is true, but I am des-
perate to smell the earth and air in a
naturally farmed vineyard, to walk in a
forest or stumble barefoot through a
stream. I owe my consciousness of this yearning to wine. If it had not been for
wine, I would not have been able to
distinguish between the dirt my father
perceived and living soil, which teems
with unseen life, playing a crucial,
symbiotic role in ensuring the healthi-
ness and well-being of plants, including
I would not have known that you cannot assess the
healthiness of a
vineyard without
looking at the
ecosystem, of which
the vineyard is a
small part.
An object seen in
isolation from the
whole is not the real
thing, the Japanese
farmer Masanobu
Fukuoka wrote in his
seminal 1978 book
The One-Straw Revolution, and Ive
come to see the simple truth in that
in agriculture what we now call
conventional agriculture was isola-
tion. Vast tracts of corn, soybeans,
wheat and even grapes replaced the
subsistence farms where a mixture of
vegetables, fruits, grains and animals
coexisted. Such polycultures were threaded
through with wild areas, where benefi- cial insects, birds and other animals
lived. This, theoretically at least, fos-
tered a healthy biological diversity in
which pests and diseases were kept in
check naturally, rather than through
artificial means.
The isolated monocultures that have
come to dominate modern agriculture
lack the sort of symbiotic relationships
among species that keep ecosystems
healthy. These man-made constructs
have disrupted the natural order,
which must be replaced with insecti-
cides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers
and other modern crutches. A sturdy
environment becomes fragile and must
be continually propped up.
The effect of modern agriculture is
felt throughout the food chain. Millions
of animals grow in an unhealthy indus-
trial environment and must be pre-
emptively plied with antibiotics and
other drugs to replace natural de-
Contemporary orchards are another
example, as Mr. Brennan, the cider
maker, detailed in his 2019 book, Un-
cultivated: Wild Apples, Real Cider
and the Complicated Art of Making a
Living. In an effort to maximize yields
and minimize labor, humans have
turned to dwarf trees and clonal root-
stocks that cannot even stand up on
their own and survive only with inten-
sive chemical spraying. When you begin to examine the
sources of your foods and wines, and you become aware of the compromises
made almost entirely for commercial
purposes, you begin to analyze more
closely what exactly is in your glass
and on your plate.
Many people understand with one
bite the difference between a commer-
cial tomato and one grown locally and
sold at a farmers market. We can
easily taste the depth of flavor in a
farm egg that is absent from commer-
cial supermarket eggs. Why would anybody doubt that a
wine produced carefully from consci-
entiously grown grapes would be
superior to bottles of processed wine
made from industrially farmed
grapes? If youve walked a chemically
farmed vineyard, no matter how neatly
its manicured or how pretty the bor-
dering roses might be, you cannot help
but be horrified by the gray, lifeless soil
underfoot. Contrast that with the bountiful
vineyards of Ms. Casteel or Ms.
Heekin, which are part of healthy
ecosystems. They appeal to all the
senses, with the sounds and sights of
birds and insects, the smell of life and
the soft give of the soil beneath your
feet. You can certainly taste that sort of
vineyard in the wine. This is not to say that traditional
practices are always best in agricul-
ture. Advocates for regenerative agri-
culture, a way of farming that empha- sizes building and supporting the
organic matter that composes healthy
soils, are dead set against age-old
practices like plowing and tilling.
These techniques not only disrupt
the life of the soil, they say, but also
release carbon to the atmosphere that
otherwise could have been stored
safely in the earth, mitigating climate
change. The aroma on a fall or winter day of
old, discarded vines being burned,
another traditional practice, can be
pleasant, until you realize its another
disastrous release of carbon. Its easy to write about wine without
any sort of awareness of nature. You
can sit at a table tasting hundreds of
wines, without a thought of where they
came from, beyond a bottle. Many people have argued that lots of
great wines have been made from
chemically farmed grapes, and that is
true. But at what cost? And how much
better might those wines have been if
the source material had more depth,
purity and complexity? A connection with nature fosters
idealism, romance and hope. It puts
many people in touch with God, if your
mind goes that way. In the intercon-
nectedness of all things including a
glass of wine, one can see either the
astounding beauty of nature or the
hand of the creator. When you lose that connection to
nature, all you see is a glass.
To taste nature in a glass of wine
I am
to smell the
earth and air
in a naturally
to walk
in a forest.
Dating is a complicated and often
clumsy dance, even in the best of times.
Add in mask-wearing directives, social
distancing and fear of a highly conta-
gious virus for which there is no cure,
and you get . . . well, an awful lot of peo-
ple doing some version of it anyway.
A survey conducted by Everlywell
a company that makes at-home health
tests found that nearly one in four
Americans ages 20 to 31 broke quaran-
tine to have sexual contact with some-
one in April, when stay-at-home orders
were at their peak. How should you navigate a date when
youre not sure a kiss goodbye, let alone
an in-person rendezvous, is on the ta-
ble? Certain dating apps are trying to
ease the process. Bumble now lets its us-
ers add a badge to their profiles that sig-
nifies what kind of dates theyre com-
fortable with: virtual, socially distanced
or socially distanced with a mask. And
on Lex, which caters to the queer com-
munity, users often preface their per-
sonal ads with their Covid-19 or anti-
body test results, said Kell Rakowski,
the apps founder. Still, meeting in person and any
physical contact, be it a touch on the arm
or sex requires some pretty candid
Some people are comfortable only with
video dates; others, and this isnt hypo-
thetical, are still willing to suggest a
threesome before noon on a Tuesday. I
definitely didnt have that one on my pandemic bingo card, said Jen Liv-
engood, 37, a Nashville television
producer. (She declined.)
If you have text or Zoom fatigue or
arent in the market for another pen pal,
find out within the first few messages
whether meeting in person is on the ta-
ble. Matt Minich, a 33-year-old doctoral
student at the University of Wisconsin-
Madison, suggests asking, What does
social distancing mean to you?
A woman asked me that, and its a re-
ally good way of phrasing it, Mr. Minich
said. Its also a way to ask somebody
Other people are more direct, asking
for proof of Covid-19 or antibody test re-
sults, or suggesting both parties get
tested before a meet-up, especially if
they live in an area where testing is free.
Tarryn Feldman, 36, a makeup artist
who works in Nashvilles music indus-
try, gets tested frequently because of
her job. She has a friend with benefits
(her description) and said she is rig-
orously honest with him about banal in-
teractions that she normally would
never discuss.
We check in, Ms. Feldman said. Im
not afraid to ask him anything about
what hes been doing and where hes
been. When a houseguests personal
trainer tested positive for Covid-19, for
instance, Ms. Feldman informed her
friend with benefits, and everyone was
tested. (No one, except the trainer, had
the coronavirus.) For a first in-the-flesh date, keep it
outside, where there is less risk of coro-
navirus transmission. For the nearly 20
people interviewed for this article, walks were by far the top choice, fol-
lowed by picnics and then backyard bar-
becues or a drink at a restaurant with
outdoor seating.
Nearly all the daters interviewed for
this article skipped the masks unless
other people were around though
most know its not necessarily a rational
choice. Theres something psychologi-
cally when you like someone, you auto-
matically trust that they dont have the
virus, said Kaley Isabella, 31, who
works in public relations in Los Angeles
and has been dating a man she met dur-
ing the pandemic. Its crazy. It doesntmake someone safe, just because you
like them.
Marie Helweg-Larsen, a professor of
psychology at Dickinson College in Car-
lisle, Pa., says it is true we are biased to-
ward people we choose to go out with.
We tend to underestimate our own risk,
she wrote in an email, and of course we
want people we know/love to share our
umbrella of invulnerability.
This thinking can be tough to counter-
act; it requires recognizing your own
bias in your risk assessment. My best
advice is to tell the date beforehand that
you intend to wear a mask and would
like the date to do so as well, Dr. Hel-
weg-Larsen wrote. You can also prac- tice what to say if the date is resisting
(something simple like, please put on
your mask or, you are protecting me
with your mask) or you can use nonver-
bal communication like stepping or
turning away from someone.
If you choose to mask up and health
experts say you should expect some
mixed signals, or no signals at all. Katie
Kirby, 35, a delivery person for Door-
Dash in Pittsburgh, said face coverings
also act as a dating filter; she doesnt
want to be out with anybody who wont
wear one.
For most daters, the biggest question
isnt, Do you ask before getting physi-
cal? but, When do you ask? Inquiring
before youve met in person can sound
forward, but, according to couples who
have already gone on a number of video
dates, its essential. You dont spend this much time on
the phone with someone you dont want
to be physical with, said Ike Diaz, 39, a
video producer in Los Angeles. Mr. Diaz
met a marketing manager named Esprit
on the League, an app that vets its users
based on criteria like where they went to
school; they video-dated for more than
two months before each got a Covid-19
test so they could meet for a picnic in
late May. Before the date, she asked: If we
were to see each other, would it be an op-
tion for us to give each other a kiss?
(Mr. Diaz said that the attraction be-
tween the two was palpable but that
he had resolved to wait for a signal from
her that she was comfortable.) I liked that she framed it as a hypo-
thetical, so it wasnt aggressive, he
said. And, yes, they kissed and are
still together. You should also expect to discuss your
private life with roommates, even if
and maybe especially if they are your
parents. Jessie Sholl, 51, a writer, left
Brooklyn in March to live with her fa-
ther and stepmother in Minneapolis. Af-
ter quarantining for several weeks, Ms.
Sholl wanted to go on an in-person date
with a man she had hooked up with over
Christmas and had been FaceTiming. I had to tell them he wasnt some guy
I just met that we had spent the night
together, she said. For the couples first
in-person date, a socially distanced walk
in April, Ms. Sholls father and step-
mother stood in the doorway waving. It was like being back in high school,
Ms. Sholl said. And then I heard my dad
yell, Stay six feet apart!
Finally, remember that no amount of
coronavirus precautions will protect
you from dogs. After a month of Face -
Timing, Ms. Livengood went to a mans
house for their first in-person date in his
backyard. They stayed six feet apart as
he showed her around, but as the cock-
tails kicked in, like on any normal date,
we got more cuddly and tactile, she
said. They kissed. At the end of the evening, he took her
hands, looked deep into her eyes and
said, If you could just lose 10 or 15
pounds, you would be a knockout and I
would consider leaving my girlfriend for
you. Ms. Livengood promptly went
home and left her doctor a message
about getting a coronavirus test.
The rules of dating during a pandemic