Coronavirus anxiety has not yet consumed New York when Rachel Maddow slides into the corner booth of Keens with two bags packed for the weekend. The host, since 2008, of MSNBC’s prime-time news broadcast has yet to focus her withering commentary on the Trump administration’s woeful preparations for the spread of the pandemic. Instead, a more jovial Maddow sits across the table as I take in the decor, a brown ensemble of framed cartoons, suits of armour and former patrons’ pipes that was a throwback even when Keens opened in 1885.

The New York steakhouse — which was shuttered this week until further notice — is no longer the all-male club it was when the actress Lillie Langtry sued in 1905 to be let in, but it still seems an incongruous spot for American liberals’ favourite anchorwoman.

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