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Future in Context

Future in Context

Why America's Public Health Has Always Been Fragmented

The nation has enjoyed public health triumphs, with life expectancy far higher than it was a century ago. But responsibility for health has always been scattered, with disease tracking less a priority than treating individuals.

By Alan Greenblatt, Senior Staff Writer  |  May 13, 2020
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Future in Context

How Jefferson and Franklin Helped End Smallpox in America

As the world eagerly awaits a vaccine for the coronavirus, 200 years ago a smallpox cure struggled to gain acceptance. This is how our founding fathers helped promote the medical breakthrough that saved countless lives.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  May 1, 2020
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Future in Context

As the Pandemic Closes the World, the Internet Keeps It Open

Two centuries ago, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had to wait months, sometimes years, for a new book to arrive from Europe. Today, technology has removed boundaries to knowledge that would amaze our founding fathers.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 24, 2020
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Smallpox and Indians: When Pandemic Warnings Go Unheeded

We’re at the height of this epidemic, so the collapse of the Mandan Indian Nation in North Dakota in the late 18th and early 19th centuries from outbreaks of smallpox is a reminder of how ignorance can be so deadly.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 22, 2020
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Who’s in Charge? Coronavirus and the Tenth Amendment

As governors take leading positions on how to manage the pandemic, the nearly forgotten cornerstone of the Constitution is relevant again. It’s a reminder of how federalism and our form of government works.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 17, 2020
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The Plague Years: A Brief History and Lessons Learned

Throughout the ages, writers and historians who have witnessed pandemics have chronicled their impact and provided us with a valuable history lesson on how not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 15, 2020
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The Pandemic, Captain Crozier of Today's U.S.S. Roosevelt and the Rough Rider

The removal of Captain Brett E. Cozier of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt for his handling of the coronavirus evokes the sometimes-controversial career of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 6, 2020
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Future in Context

Thomas Jefferson, Epidemics and His Vision for American Cities

Jefferson's experience with the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 reinforced his dislike of cities and shaped a radical plan for the development of a new nation that even included his concept of urban design.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  April 1, 2020
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Future in Context

Learning to Deal with the Coronavirus Through Literature

In uncertain times, we search for assurances. The humanities, including stories about coping with past plagues, provide a powerful reference to how things can be made right again.

By Clay Jenkinson, Editor-at-Large  |  March 20, 2020
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