Published November 9, 2020

A historic but still contested election. An economy that must be pulled back from the brink. A disadvantaged segment of the population facing extreme challenges after paying its debt to society. All these issues, and many more, jump out at us from the headlines. Fortunately, Rutgers experts appear in the media every day, providing fresh perspective on politics, the pandemic, social conditions, and countless other areas of public concern.

An op-ed in The Los Angeles Times discusses the ways in which Kamala Harris has made history in becoming our next vice president and quotes Debbie Walsh GSNB’80, director of Rutgers’ Center for American Women and Politics. “I can’t imagine on the Democratic side ever seeing another ticket that is two white men,” says Walsh.

Los Angeles Times | Editorial: Kamala Harris is a vice president-elect like no other

President-elect Joe Biden will enter office facing an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. James W. Hughes ENG’65, GSNB’69,’71, a university professor at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, tells News 12 New Jersey that getting the pandemic under control will be key to rebuilding the economy. “I don’t think nationally or in New Jersey or in any of its municipalities in early 2021 or even late 2021 we will see substantial differences from where we are today,” Hughes says.

News 12 New Jersey | Rutgers professor: Pandemic needs to be put under control before country can rebuild economy

This year’s holiday shopping isn’t likely to have much impact on the downturn in consumer spending as a result of the pandemic, says Ashwani Monga, a professor of marketing at Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick. “Even if stores do open, people will be reluctant to go out and have fun or splurge as if the last few months didn’t happen,” he tells Vox. “Shopping is a way to connect and do something for yourself, and that habit has changed during this year’s disruption.”

Vox | Holiday shopping as we know it is over — just ask seasonal workers

Claims of illegal voting—including a rumor about 14,000 dead people casting ballots in Wayne, Michigan—continue to sow confusion and distrust over the recent elections. Lorraine Minnite, an associate professor of public policy at Rutgers University–Camden and author of The Myth of Voter Fraud, shares her expertise in a USA TODAY story about the controversy. Minnite says that although election officials need time to sort things out, and that voter registration lists will sometimes briefly contain the names of deceased people, claims of fraud are misleading because the lists are regularly updated.

USA TODAY | Fact check: No evidence that 14,000 dead people cast ballots in Wayne County, Michigan

William Kelly, a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American and Caribbean history at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, writes a Washington Post op-ed about support for President Trump among Cuban Americans, in particular young members of that demographic. “Having historically benefited substantially from government programs…that grant them preferential immigration treatment and financial assistance,” says Kelly, “young Cuban Americans feel they can safely support Trump, because they have faith that he and the Republican Party will shield them from harm.”

The Washington Post | The Cuban revolution explains why younger Cuban Americans supported Trump

How effective are New Jersey’s post-incarceration support programs, especially regarding healthcare issues? Tap Into reports on rising concerns about the health of recently released inmates and quotes Pamela Valera, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, who says the initial weeks after an individual leaves prison are particularly critical. “While I believe that we have the reentry system to support people who are being released today from New Jersey prisons,” says Valera, “all of these efforts are happening while COVID-19 infection cases are surging in predominant communities of color.”

Tap Into | Prisoner Release Raises Concerns About Their Health During Pandemic

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