Robinson Meyer

Robinson Meyer

Staff writer at @TheAtlantic, covering the science and politics of climate change. Bangers only. Say hi:, DM for Signal.

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This would be straight-up disastrous for the US pandemic response. I’m no fan of Palantir, but the HHS tracker is *the* best data set on the pandemic. Killing it now would be like closing your eyes while trying to take a highway exit:

There’s an assumption that treating vaccine distribution “as an emergency” means we need to do it seriously, attentively, without mistakes. But it actually means COVID vax distribution is a problem we only have to solve once. We don’t need a perfect process, and faster is better.

Why can I keep an unlimited number of groceries in my head until I make a text file that says “Grocery List” at the top

just last night I was admiring the production of Shania Twain’s immortal That Don’t Impress Me Much

Nothing makes me more gleeful than seeing fossil-fuel traders who hate QE

Last month, we analyzed the HHS data at @COVID19Tracking  and found that it is now reliable, rich in metadata, and without sign of political manipulation. It aligns to what states report but is often *more* inclusive than their totals. This is good data.

By the way, if you want to see this HHS data set yourself, go play around with it here: Type in your ZIP code and see how many COVID patients are in each hospital/ICU near you. You can also see what percentage of total beds are taken by COVID patients.

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This is some of the most local, hi-res federal data we’ve gotten since the pandemic began. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn good, and—above all—IT WORKS, which is more than you can say about a lot of the federal response. The Biden admin doesn’t need to reinvent this wheel.

and the background is genly and estraven on the ice cap😭


An ER doctor in Georgia tells us that he saw four possible coronavirus patients Saturday, but could only get one tested. We’re “asking thoughtful, knowledgeable medical professionals to jump through hoops to get a test they know a patient needs,” he says.

It’s underappreciated that we’re shutting America down precisely because we don’t have enough tests to look for the big outbreaks. It’s not only that we missed our chance at containment. It’s that we don’t know which cities are worst, so we have to flatten the curve everywhere.

How to count to 100 like a journalist: A, both, several, five, half a dozen, more than half a dozen, nearly 10, nearly a dozen, a dozen, more than a dozen, nearly two dozen, a score, nearly two dozen (again), dozens, scores, 50, more than 50, more than 75, nearly a hundred, 100.

Worth saying explicitly: DC is seeing a massive federal police presence—with very low-flying helicopters downtown, etc—not because things are especially bad here but because the Trump administration has special powers to call out the feds here.

I want a prestige HBO remake of Moby Dick. Six seasons. 10 episodes each. They don’t actually leave on the boat til S3 (at earliest). And a couple times a season, there’s a gorgeously shot hour-long doc that contains literally not a single correct whale fact

A negative PCR test today does not mean that someone escaped infection. The virus can incubate for more than a week before it’s detectable. Anyone who was exposed to the president should continue to monitor symptoms and, if they have the means or ability, get tested.

NEW - from @alexismadrigal  and me After gathering data from all 50 states, and surveying dozens of local officials, we can only verify that 1,895 Americans have been tested for coronavirus

I’m feeling the same dissonance I felt in early March. Cases are up about 70% from a week ago, hospitalizations are at record highs, deaths are already rising. We’re back to a place where all the data is saying something very clearly, and people are acting like it’s not true.