Weekly Writers Round-Up: Coronavirus on Campus, Gig Economy Safety, and EU Conspiracy Theories - America's Future Foundation

August 5, 2020

AFF Community

Weekly Writers Round-Up: Coronavirus on Campus, Gig Economy Safety, and EU Conspiracy Theories

By: Josh Evans

Each week, we’ll be featuring opinion pieces from the alumni and current participants of AFF’s Writing Fellows Program. A few highlights from the past week are below. Do you dream of having bylines like these? Learn more about how the Writing Fellows Program can help boost your writing career!

Can colleges counter the coronavirus on campus? by Lexi Lonas (Spring 2020) in The Lone Conservative
Coronavirus guidelines won’t keep college campuses safe. It’s time for universities to move classes online for the fall semester. 

At the beginning of this summer, I expected colleges across the country to come up with a plan that focused on student safety and alleviated our stress. Instead, universities released untenable plans that added even more stress to their students’ lives…

Gig economy companies need freedom to shield their workers from COVID-19 by Jacob James Rich (Fall 2018) in Detroit News
With over 150,000 COVID-19 deaths nationwide, Americans have witnessed failures at every level of government. Despite $3.7 trillion in federal stimulus spending during the pandemic and lockdowns, U.S. gross domestic product fell an unprecedented 32.9% between April and June. Yet, Congress is now discussing even more stimulus spending. Meanwhile, many unnecessary federal regulations have prevented adequate access to personal protection equipment (PPE) for both health care workers and the general public. 

A new bill introduced by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.V. — the Helping Gig Economy Workers Act — seeks simply to give digital employers the freedom to provide masks and other PPE to their workers. The bill would permit a narrow employer-employee exception to allow companies like Uber to provide PPE, such as masks, during the pandemic. The ability for companies to provide PPE to “contractors” will only last until June 30, 2021, or after the COVID-19 public health emergency declared by the secretary of Health and Human Services expires…

The Messy (Un)truth Behind Donald Trump’s Latest Conspiracy by Jorge González-Gallarza Hernández (Summer 2018) in the New York Daily News
Beltway blobsters were on the edge of their seats Tuesday last week as Donald Trump went off-script from prepared remarks at the Rose Garden. “The EU was formed to take advantage of the U.S.,” he asserted amidst a markedly Trumpian tour d’horizon that included attacks on Joe Biden and blows at China for cheating on trade and the WHO. “I know that. They know I know that, but other presidents had no idea,” he added. Needless to say, “take advantage” is the sentence’s climax, but “formed” is its novel keyword.

A textbook case in Trumpian teleology, purpose and outcome are confounded in this latest boutade. Penalizing America is—to the blob’s great dismay—the unquestionable effect of a number of EU policies, but a cursory look at the bloc’s history shows this has hardly ever been its raison d’être. To his credit, the president’s hardball deal-making antics on trade and defense spending through his first term have itched the transatlantic alliance towards fairer territory in a way that the blob’s sanguine piety never could have. Precisely to preserve this success, the President would be better advised to stay focused on rebalancing EU-U.S. ties instead of cooking up senseless conspiracies that risk making his negotiations with the Europeans harder than they are already poised to be ahead of a potential second term…