Pharmaceutical innovation is a boon to society — if the fruits of that innovation make it in the hands of the people needing them. That hasn’t been the case with some of the lifesaving medicines developed to treat COVID-19, despite President Joe Biden’s promises earlier this year to make the drugs widely available. As the pandemic continues to wreak global devastation without a clear end in sight, the lack of accessible antiviral treatments is yet another example of how the White House has failed to stop the virus’ spread or mitigate its impacts — particularly among the elderly and otherwise immunocompromised. As Zeynep Tufekci notes in a New York Times opinion piece we highlight below, “Under these political conditions, rescue may not be on its way for a long time, if ever.”

Read all about it in this week’s Weekend Reader, exclusively for supporting subscribers below.

Also In Today’s Weekend Reader:

  • A former CIA torture expert has a surprising new job.
  • The United States’ long history of violence against Asian women.
  • Censorship: coming to a library near you.