The Atlantic Politics Daily: Remember the Election?

To paraphrase my colleague Derek Thompson, these candidates are really freaking old:

We have now before us three candidates divided by ideology, but united in dotage. All three white men were born in the 1940s, before the invention of Velcro and the independence of India and Israel. Amazingly, each is currently older than any of the past three U.S. presidents. If, through some constitutional glitch, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, or Barack Obama jumped into the 2020 race at this very moment, each would suddenly become the youngest man in the contest.

Read Derek’s full story here.


We are continuing our coverage of the coronavirus and have made some of our most essential stories free for everyone to read. Let us know if you have specific questions about the virus—or if you have a personal experience you’d like to share with us. You can reply directly to this newsletter, or send a note to our team here.

—Saahil Desai




The Sisters Stuck in Refugee Limbo

Angela and Leen Albaka are two sisters from Damascus, Syria, who dreamed of moving to the United States. But when the civil war broke out in their home country 10 years ago, they moved quickly to apply for resettlement.

Their move was approved, but since Trump took office, they’ve been stuck in a “Kafka-esque saga that is reflective of America’s long-running failure to address the conflict in Syria,” our national-security and intelligence reporter Mike Giglio writes:

The sisters stand out for how they’ve refused to give up on their idealized vision of America as the years pass, relentlessly trying to get their case heard, even attempting to reach U.S. presidents and celebrities. They’re also a reminder that even as a war that has killed hundreds of thousands recedes from the minds of most Americans, millions of Syrians are still dealing with the fallout from the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

Read Mike’s story of these two sisters here.




The COVID-19 pandemic has by now disrupted all parts of American public life, transforming the way Americans work, learn, socialize, and debate.

In many ways, the outbreak is forcing an existential questioning of America’s core values: “What if it turns out, as it almost certainly will, that other nations are far better than we are at coping with this kind of catastrophe?” Anne Applebaum writes. The coming crisis is likely to shock Americans with an emperor-has-no-clothes moment when they realize, she argues, “when human life is in peril, we are not as good as Singapore, as South Korea, as Germany.”

Here is how our writers are analyzing these changes to daily life:

+ The president’s top public-health adviser has asked for Americans to limit their social interactions. That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice emotional relationships.

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