Embedded Player After rising for weeks, the rate of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has started to level off. But now, just as we saw in the spring, the country is facing a spike in deaths.

In the new issue of The Atlantic, two stories share the cover. One, by Ed Yong, is about the pandemic. The other, by Ibram Kendi, is about racism in America. Both ask the same question: how did it come to this?

Email the show at considerthis@npr.org.