Does rural America have the infrastructure and supplies to navigate through this pandemic? Lois Parshley, a freelance investigative journalist then based at University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Dr. Peter Shulman, an associate professor of history at Case Western Reserve University, discuss the challenges COVID-19 presents for rural communities and how the Defense Production Act can play a role in allocating vital resources during the current surge. Parshley draws on her reporting in Alaska to talk about hospital capacity in rural areas, the ways rural Americans are vulnerable to COVID-19, and the politics of the pandemic in rural areas and red states. Dr. Shulman makes the argument for President Trump to utilize the Defense Production Act (DPA), explains the history of past national mobilizations, and contextualizes the DPA in the contemporary integrated global economy. Both discussions touch on the national implications of COVID-19, despite the disparate effects on localities across the United States. For further reading: “The coronavirus may hit rural America later -- and harder” “What happens when a city’s hospital closes ‘without warning’ during a pandemic” “President Trump must act immediately to protect doctors and nurses from Covid-19”


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