Opinion | Angus King’s Gambit

Maine Sen. Angus King speaks at a press convention to introduce the COVID Emergency Aid Framework in Washington, D.C., Dec. 1.


Michael Brochstein/Zuma Press

Democrats have pushed to develop authorities entitlements and enterprise mandates through the pandemic. Now

Maine Sen. Angus King



and different streaming companies to offer complementary leisure to assist Individuals social distance over the vacations.

“Presently, we should discover methods to incentivize individuals to comply with steerage from the CDC, their employer, native public well being officers, or college leaders,” Mr. King wrote in a letter this week to Netflix,



and WarnerMedia. Individuals left to their very own gadgets will “keep it up their typical vacation traditions as an alternative of remaining safely at dwelling.”

To encourage Individuals to “make accountable selections”—i.e., abstain from merriment with household and buddies—Mr. King is asking the platforms to “present non permanent service without charge to non-subscribers.” He added: “I look ahead to listening to what steps you see possible and in a position to be achieved to restrict the well being emergency that COVID-19 is posing at this tough time.”

Who knew Netflix may gradual Covid? The pandemic has been a boon for on-line streaming companies, which have added tens of thousands and thousands of latest customers through the pandemic. Disney+ now boasts 74 million, up from 50 million in April. There’s no proof, nonetheless, the streaming surge has stopped the virus from spreading.

In any case, many younger individuals already free-ride on subscriptions of household and buddies. Elevated streaming of “The Queen’s Gambit” or “Seinfeld” reruns would improve broadband visitors and gradual speeds for different makes use of together with telemedicine visits and FaceTiming with grandparents. There’s no such factor as free Netflix.

Talking of which—Democrats need the Federal Communications Fee to reclassify broadband suppliers as frequent carriers so that they could possibly be compelled to offer free “public companies,” which is how Mr. King labels leisure. Senate Republicans final week checked these liberal ambitions by confirming GOP Commissioner

Nathan Simington.

A 2-2 deadlocked fee ought to hold Democrats from doing injury to the web through the pandemic when individuals want it to work and study safely at dwelling.

Marvel Land: Enterprise house owners are pushing again in opposition to excessive Covid-19 restrictions, largely in liberal states reminiscent of New York and California. Photos: Shutterstock/Reuters Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared within the December 17, 2020, print version.

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