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The women Biden might pick as his running mate, how abortion bans are playing out, and remembering Linda Tripp.
Today’s featured news
For couples who want to conceive, the coronavirus pandemic has introduced many unknowns — and roadblocks. As Nicole Paseka Grundmeier reports for The Lily, too little is known about the disease for doctors to be able to answer questions from prospective parents, and for many, waiting would bring its own set of concerns for health, finances and work.
Although limited data show that women who contract covid-19 do not seem to have increased risks of miscarriage, stillbirth or other complications, women say there are other reasons to halt trying to conceive, including being wary of being in the hospital for any reason. For others, the decision to pause their fertility journey wasn’t their choice. One woman living in Iowa decided to try embryo adoption, and she was two months into medication when covid-19 halted the process. Read the full story here.
Former vice president Joe Biden is now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, after Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped out of the race Wednesday. We know that Biden will pick a woman to be his running mate after promising to do so at a recent debate. The big question is: Who will it be? Washington Post reporter Aaron Blake ranked the 11 most logical picks and included some less obvious choices, such as Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), the Latina politician with the best shot at being Biden’s pick, and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who was the first disabled woman elected to Congress and the first senator to give birth while in office. See the full list, including Blake’s No. 1 bet, here.
At least 41 grocery store workers have died of the coronavirus so far, and more are falling ill. Lily contributor Soo Youn spoke to more than a dozen who say they have safety concerns even at stores in which they feel well-provided for. Grocery store workers are some of the lowest-paid essential workers, and can be exposed to hundreds of people a day. As Amber Gregory, a 37-year-old employee at New Seasons Market in Oregon, puts it:
As policies change, here are six tips for the best way to grocery shop right now.
Several governors around the country have halted abortions — deeming them “nonessential” medical procedures that have been curtailed during the coronavirus pandemic. Judges in Alabama, Ohio and Oklahoma have so far said those restrictions could not be applied to a woman seeking an abortion, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit left in place the directive order issued by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Now, instead of taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, abortion providers in Texas are asking a district judge for more limited relief from the executive order. Among those exemptions include women seeking abortions induced by medication and women who face a deadline in receiving the procedure, which in Texas is 22 weeks.
News by the numbers
As the U.S. death toll climbs to more than 20,000, data show that men die more frequently of covid-19 than women. According to one analysis, men made up 59 percent of the overall hospitalizations in New York City, the country’s epicenter of the outbreak, and 62 percent of the city’s fatalities. Emerging research shows that women’s bodies have stronger immune responses, thanks to the hormones in their systems and the genes on their two X chromosomes.
A Washington Post analysis of early data from across the country also shows the novel coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate: Counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority. President Trump on Tuesday acknowledged the racial disparity: “We are doing everything in our power to address this challenge,” he said at the White House task force briefing.
Five need-to-know stories in 100 words or less
1. Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is facing a new sexual assault charge. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the additional charge of sexual battery stems from an alleged incident at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2010. Last month, the victim provided evidence that the assault happened within the 10-year statute of limitation.
2. After eight months on the job — during which she held no regular press briefings — White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving the position. Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany will take her spot, and Grisham will rejoin first lady Melania Trump’s staff as a full-time chief of staff and spokeswoman.
3. Last week, former first lady Michelle Obama spoke out about the controversial Democratic primary held in Wisconsin on April 7. Unlike other states that have postponed their primaries during the pandemic, Republican lawmakers pushed for in-person voting to continue — despite serious concerns over a lack of proper social distancing.
4. In an address last week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reassured her country that the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny are “essential workers.” The lighthearted remarks, directed to the children of New Zealand, came as Ardern has been hailed for her management of the pandemic: The country’s death toll is significantly lower than the rest of the world.
5. Actress Amber Heard will be allowed to testify behind closed doors about alleged sexual violence she said her ex-husband Johnny Depp perpetuated. The evidence will be presented in Depp’s libel case against the Sun newspaper and its associate editor, Dan Wootton, after the paper referred to the actor as a “wife-beater.”
Remembering a history-making woman
In 1998, America found itself in the middle of a presidential sex scandal, and a woman named Linda Tripp played a key role in its uncovering. Tripp, a former White House secretary for President George H.W. Bush, worked in President Bill Clinton’s administration in 1993 and 1994. She would later reveal to a grand jury that she had been troubled by Clinton’s behavior toward women. Tripp eventually began working at the Pentagon, where she met and became friends with Monica Lewinksy, a onetime White House intern.
After Lewinsky revealed that she had been having an affair with Clinton, Tripp began secretly taping conversations she had with her. The recordings were used as evidence against the president, who was ultimately impeached. While some praised Tripp for revealing presidential misbehavior, others viewed her as a snitch who’d betrayed her friendship with Lewinsky. After Clinton’s impeachment, Tripp kept a low profile. In 2017, she was quoted as saying that she never set out to go after a sitting president. “He was the leader of the free world and she was an intern, a kid, who happened to be extremely emotionally young for her age,” she said. On April 8, Tripp died at the age of 70. Her son confirmed his mother’s death but did not discuss additional details.
—Macy Freeman, Washington Post multiplatform editor
A single panel from Pepita Sandwich
Bella and Donna, two fictional characters created by comic artist Pepita Sandwich, are best friends trying to navigate adulthood. This week, they’re savoring comfort foods during self-quarantine.
Things we love but weren’t paid to promote
If you’re looking for a new hobby, and a way to improve the place you’re likely spending 99.9 percent of your time in, look no further than needlepoint. Throne Alexander makes ready-to-go kits, complete with thread and needles. It’s easy to pick up, and a really soothing way to occupy your hands (and put down your phone). —Aviva Loeb, Washington Post designer
[bye-koo] Saying goodbye with a haiku
“Toast” by Koffee
Listen to everything we’ve recommended here.
A quick, curated list of Team Lily’s go-to content this week