Life and Death in the Fiscal Vise

Note: I’m writing again after a few months of research on the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. Such work is an enterprise which, given the pace of events and the rate of change, has a dangerously short shelf-life and is necessarily preliminary. The standard caveats, and then some, apply.

In March, states rushed to impose new stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. Yet two months…