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How the pandemic is magnifying America’s class divide

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How the pandemic is magnifying America’s class divide

President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing […] (Patrick Semansky/AP) Article by Noam Scheiber, Nelson D. Schwartz and Tiffany Hsu. The New York Times

For about $80,000, an individual can purchase a six-month plan with Private Health Management, which helps people with serious medical issues navigate the health care system. Such a plan proved to be a literal lifesaver as the coronavirus pandemic descended. […]

In some respects, the pandemic is an equalizer: It can afflict princes and paupers alike, and no one who hopes to stay healthy is exempt from the strictures of social distancing. But the American response to the virus is laying bare class divides that are often camouflaged — in access to health care, child care, education, living space, even internet bandwidth. In New York, well-off city dwellers have abandoned cramped apartments for spacious second homes. In Texas, the rich are shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to build safe rooms and bunkers. And across the country, there is a creeping consciousness that despite talk of national unity, not everyone is equal in times of emergency. “This is a white-collar quarantine,” said Howard Barbanel, a Miami-based entrepreneur who owns a wine company. “ […]

c.2020 The New York Times Company

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