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The new episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange podcast is a chat with Rhiana Gunn-Wright of New Consensus, a very young think tank that's influential in the Green New Deal movement.

Why it matters: The GND is dominating the conversation in climate policy and politics right now, and a number of top-tier Democratic White House hopefuls have signed on.

The intrigue: One interesting part of the podcast explores the connective tissue between an aggressive emissions-cutting plan and provisions like jobs guarantees and sweeping health care goals.

  • One connection is the idea of creating more fluidity in the labor force to enable widespread participation in climate-friendly sectors. Gunn-Wright notes that people are often wedded to their jobs because of employer-sponsored health care.
  • "We recognize that there has to be a supportive system in order for people to take these new jobs that are coming out to create, possibly, more flexibility in the labor market if we are going to need people to be moving from particular industries into other industries," she said.
  • She covers the same ground and more in this Twitter thread.

In terms of the politics of the climate plan, she argues that if it can be enacted, it would be less vulnerable to subsequent attacks because it's tethered to providing wider jobs and health care gains.

  • "They understand that it is packaged together. We think that that could create a bit more durability too," she said.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.