Extra! Extra!: Accountability in the Age of Corona

Himani’s taking a much deserved respite from curating this week’s COVID-19 round-up so you’ve got me guiding you through this week’s COVID-19 news. In this edition, we’ll look at the disparate impact the coronavirus is having on marginalized communities, rages about government competence and incompetence and muses about what accountability looks like in the age of Corona.

The More You Know: COVID-19’s Impact on Marginalized Communities

From a scientific standpoint, there’s still so much we don’t know about the way coronavirus is impacting people — like, why it’s causing strokes in young and middle-aged folks — but, one thing is clear: communities that were marginalized before COVID-19 are experiencing disparate impact today.

Younger black and Latino Californians are dying of COVID-19 at higher rates

Ecuador suffers one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaksCoronavirus batters Ecuador with disproportionate force

It took a pandemic for cities to finally address homelessness

Blamed For Coronavirus Outbreak, Muslims In India Come Under Attack

How COVID-19 May Affect Those Who Practice Chest Binding

If I Get Sick With COVID-19, Don’t Tell My Doctor I’m Transgender

Covid-19 Sent LGBTQ Students Back to Unsupportive Homes. That Raises the Risk They Won’t Return.

LGBT people in Japan worry getting coronavirus may result in outing

Why US jails and prisons became coronavirus epicenters

El Salvador’s jails: Where social distancing is impossibleEl Salvador’s jails: Where social distancing is impossible

Modern-Day Piracy, Courtesy of the US Government

Every day seems to bring something new to be outraged about… but, for me, this is at the top of the list. It was bad enough when the United States was engaging in “modern piracy” to disrupt the global medical supply chain but now the federal government has moved on stealing personal protective equipment (PPE) directly from states and hospitals.

Exclusive: The Long Strange Trip Of One Shipment Of Millions Of KN95 Masks

Miami-Dade County Misses Out on 1 Million N95 Masks, Blames Feds for Snagging Shipment

States smuggle COVID-19 medical supplies to avoid federal seizures as House probes Jared Kushner

Economic Stimulus

In the United States, the disbursement of stimulus funds has been — to put it mildly — a shitshow: people aren’t getting the stimulus checks they were promised, large corporations are being shamed into returning small business loans they never should’ve applied for in the first place (ahem, Ruth’s Chris) and accountability and transparency measures are being disregarded entirely. On top of all of that, the money Congress has alloted is, as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez aptly described it, like a Band-Aid for a gunshot wound.

Given that, one of the things I’ve been really interested in is seeing how countries are providing relief for their citizens and, subsequently, boost their economy. Are other countries doing a better job at targeting resources to the most vulnerable? How are other countries boosting small businesses? And, perhaps more worrisome: how many countries are already starting to build austerity measures into “relief packages?”

My Family Was Denied a Stimulus Check Because My Husband Is an Immigrant

Trudeau announces rent relief of 75% for small businesses affected by coronavirus

Germany is vastly outspending other countries with its coronavirus stimulus

Bank of Japan may launch new round of stimulus to aid virus-hit firms

What Does Accountability Look Like?

Often times, in the middle of a crisis, those of us who want accountability are told to wait. “Let us put the fire out, then we’ll investigate and hold the arsonist responsible.” The problem is, often, the longer you wait to try and dole out accountability, the less likely those responsible will ever be held responsible for their transgressions (see also: Iraq War, Katrina, the Great Recession, et. al.)

In the United States, Republicans are obsessed with holding China accountable — even though it’s not at all clear that the first American infections came from there — but there’s not enough talk about how we hold governments or businesses accountable for failures that have jeopardized public health. Is there civil or criminal liability for calling coronavirus a “hoax” or promoting fake cures? Is there civil or criminal liability for leaders and businesses that withhold information about the virus’ spread, subsequently exposing more people to potential illness? I’m not sure if we’ve even begun to scratch the surface of what accountability looks like…but I think the calls for it are going to grow deafening in the coming weeks.

Scottish Labour MSP Monica Lennon: Accountability in times of crisis can save lives

More Deaths, No Benefit from Malaria Drug in VA Virus Study

Federal Scientist Says He Was Removed For Resisting Unproven Coronavirus Treatments

Nursing Homes Ask States For Immunity From Civil Suits Amid COVID-19

Italians call for justice for relatives killed by coronavirus

Non-apologies for coronavirus deaths are not good enough

Turkey’s response to coronavirus has been complete shambles

Imams Overrule Pakistan’s Coronavirus Lockdown as Ramadan Nears

‘There Are No Viruses Here:’ Leader of Belarus Scoffs at Lockdowns

Australia says all WHO members should back coronavirus inquiry

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A black biracial, bisexual girl raised in the South, working hard to restore North Carolina's good name. Lover of sports, politics, good TV and Sonia Sotomayor. You can follow her latest rants on Twitter.

Natalie has written 410 articles for us.


  1. So glad to hear that Himani is taking care of herself by taking a break from this this week, and so grateful to you, Natalie for these links. I especially appreciate the discussion of and articles about accountability.

  2. Thank you, Nathalie, for all the links. I don’t always comment, but I appreciate the Extra! coverage very much.

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