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Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.
Results 1-10 of 57

A Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Finally Knows How Many People Died

August 29, 2018 The grisly business of counting the dead after a natural disaster would seem to be a straightforward one. There is a certain number of people alive before the event, and there is a certain number after. Subtraction should yield a figure similar to the number of death certificates issued, and...

Researchers Are Still Counting the Dead From Hurricane Maria

August 3, 2018 The one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria is next month. The island is still rebuilding, still preparing for a new hurricane season, still putting its power grid back together, and still dealing with the massive demographic, environmental, and political changes that have taken place as a result of last year’s disaster....

Analysis: It’s Time to Worry About the Census

July 31, 2018 Nobody will write songs about the census. Among the fabled pillars underpinning the country’s democracy, the great American headcount is often relegated to a dusty corner. In the nine interstitial years between each tally, analysis and development of a more perfect instrument take place mostly hidden from public view. There...

What Virginia's Vote Means for the Future of Medicaid Expansion

May 31, 2018 Lost in the manifold dramas of the Trump administration is the fact that one of the main sagas of the Obama administration is finding its way to a close. After the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid in 2010 to the whole of the American poor, it launched a struggle that...

The True Scope of the Disaster in Puerto Rico

May 30, 2018 Just about nobody believes Puerto Rico’s official death toll for Hurricane Maria. Researchers and journalists alike generally accept that the island’s tally of 64 people killed by the storm last September is a massive undercount, so obviously inaccurate that the Puerto Rican government has agreed to review and revise its...

Analysis: The Weaponized Census

March 28, 2018 So far, 2018 has been the time for passionate fights about strange things. Facebook quizzes, self-driving cars, expensive dinner tables, and porn stars have all become critical pieces of the political landscape. The weird has become the mundane, and even the most obscure and arcane pieces of political machinery have...

The People Trump's War on Drugs Will Actually Punish

March 26, 2018 The War on Drugs 3.0 began in earnest just last week. And it could have the same devastating effect on communities of color as the ones that came before. In Manchester, New Hampshire—the hardest-hit city in a state that’s become the epicenter of America’s opioid crisis—President Trump announced a new...

The Troubled Future for State Medicaid Expansion

March 13, 2018 In 2012, the Supreme Court’s decision in the NFIB v. Sebelius case sent shockwaves through the health-policy community, with Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion causing much teeth-gnashing all around. Among many conservatives, the preservation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate constituted “one of the worst Supreme Court decisions...

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

March 1, 2018 “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.” Marvin Gaye wasn’t an environmental scientist, but his 1971 single “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” provides a stark and useful environmental analysis, complete with warnings of overcrowding and climate change. The song doesn’t explicitly mention race, but...

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

March 1, 2018 “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.” Marvin Gaye wasn’t an environmental scientist, but his 1971 single “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” provides a stark and useful environmental analysis, complete with warnings of overcrowding and climate change. The song doesn’t explicitly mention race, but...