Over the past few years, we learned the hard way about the limits of American exceptionalism. But there’s one area where the American empire still has a notable empirical edge: dying. For some reason, when it comes to that final item on the to-do list, we’ve become more efficient than our European counterparts. Derek Thompson in The Atlantic: Why Americans Die So Much. “We’re a long way from a complete understanding of the American mortality penalty. But these three facts—the superior outcomes of European countries with lower poverty and universal insurance, the equality of European life spans between rich and poor areas, and the decline of the Black-white longevity gap in America coinciding with greater insurance protection and anti-poverty spending—all point to the same conclusion: Our lives and our life spans are more interconnected than you might think.”

+ The pandemic era might not help us lose our leadership position. The U.S. is falling to the lowest vaccination rates of the world’s wealthiest democracies.