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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a Green New Deal rally. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer has behind-the-scenes info on a newly prominent think tank's effort to fill in the policy blanks of the Green New Deal.

Why it matters: The sweeping template pushed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is firmly in the Democratic conversation — even the party's 2020 frontrunner Joe Biden's climate plan praises it.

Where it stands: The piece explores the young lefty think tank New Consensus' ongoing work to transform the GND into detailed proposals — and their struggles.

  • One part that caught my eye explores what I consider to be a weakness in the GND movement: the failure (so far) to get many major unions on board.

Details: Here's some of Meyer's reporting on a March meeting that New Consensus convened with activists and experts:

"Todd Vachon, a labor-studies researcher at Rutgers University who attended the meeting, told me he was surprised that no union officials were present.
"'We were kind of there, looking around and saying, where are the labor people?' he said. 'There weren’t really any active presidents of unions—people who have the authority to speak on behalf of an organization. It was academics and researchers on one side, and grassroots organizations on the other.'"

What's new: More recently, as Meyer notes, the influential Service Employees International Union backed the GND, joining some other unions. But the absence of broader labor support is something to watch going forward.

Go deeper: The state of the Green New Deal heading into 2020

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.

By the numbers: Catholics, Biden and abortion

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden — the second Catholic U.S. president — will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, as some church leaders debate whether to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

By the numbers: Overall, two in three U.S. Catholics believe Biden should be allowed to take Communion despite his stance on abortion, according to polling by Pew Research Center.

Texas House probes school library books dealing with race and sexuality

Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Texas state Rep. Matt Krause, chair of the Texas House Committee on General Investigating, announced Wednesday that he's initiating a probe into schools' library books, according to a letter sent to the state's education agency and other superintendents.

Why it matters: The probe focuses on books that discuss race, sexuality or "make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex," Krause wrote in the letter.