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Summit Briefing: Week of 11/9/20

Your Summit Weekly Briefing: An Election Special


via the New York Times


It’s the week after the election, so your newsletter today will be formatted a little differently.


1. Biden to be next President of the United States

On Saturday, November 7th, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. The election was filled with twists and turns, as seen in an electoral map screenshot, taken November 3rd, 2020, at 10:31 p.m. on Election Night (when yours truly went to bed)…

… versus November 9th, 2020, at 8:39 p.m. (when yours truly is writing this briefing)

(both via the Associated Press). As you can see, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania flipped in the six days since Election Night, and Georgia is projected to go to Biden as well. Because of this, Trump has claimed “…a major fraud on [sic] our nation”, filed lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia with the intent to challenge continued vote count validity and may request a recount in Wisconsin. 


So why the gradual change from red to blue? Primarily, mail in ballots. According to an October study by Pew Research, 51% of Biden-leaning voters reported intent to vote by mail, compared to only 25% of Trump-leaning supporters:

Though all states count only mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day, some states and jurisdictions, such as all of Pennsylvania and parts of Michigan, did not start counting mail-in ballots until November 3rd. But, as the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette notes, this does not necessarily mean they are required to start counting those ballots at exactly 7 a.m. Because of the order in which in-person, mail-in and provisional ballots were counted, initial results seemed to favor Trump in these states, but as more mail-in votes were processed, these results transitioned towards Biden. Other states, such as Georgia and North Carolina, also experienced different delays, USA Today notes.


2. The Black women who lead to Biden’s victory

Black women organizers helped register 800,000 new voters in Georgia, which is projected to go to Biden. They include:

  • Stacey Abrams, former Georgia governor candidate and founder of Fair Fight, which promotes  “fair elections in Georgia and around the country” as well as “voter participation in elections” and  educating voters “about elections and their voting rights.”
  • LaTosha Brown, former Georgia State Board of Education candidate and co-founder of Black Voters Matter, whose goal is to “increase power in our communities.” as “Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny.”
  • Helen Butler, executive director of Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, which aims “To improve the quality of governance in Georgia. To help create a more informed and active electorate. To have responsive and accountable elected officials.”
  • Nsé Ufot, CEO of the New Georgia Project, which is a “nonpartisan effort to register and civically engage Georgians.”
  • Tamieka Atkins, executive director of ProGeorgia, which works towards “Voter Engagement”, “Issue Organizing” and “Economies of Scale.”


3. Time to celebrate?

Biden has almost assuredly won the election, but should we be celebrating? Opinions, as WBUR News reports, are divided. Prema Bangera stated she felt “good” about the election results, but that “Biden winning means nothing in terms of the work that we need to do. There are a lot of systems to bring down to get racial equity and immigrants’ rights.”

Bill Payton, a Trump supporter, shared “I think [Trump’s] done very good things for the country, and I see a lot of irregularities relative to voting….I think we need to have a good accounting of, not every place, but places where obvious irregularities have popped up.”

Meanwhile, Tracie Taylor, a Black woman, said “Change has come today. This is our Christmas. This is our Christmas. Just celebrate. Don’t complicate everything. Everything’s been too complicated. Take a breath. Breathe. We’ve been holding our breath for four years.”


4. Covid-19: A vaccine may be close

This morning, German drug company Pfizer announced that early examination of its Coronavirus vaccine showed it to be 90% effective and free of any major side effects, CNN reports. Pfizer still must evaluate whether the vaccine protects against severe Covid-19 cases and how long it lasts, with CEO Albert Bourla saying that one will most likely need “periodical vaccinations”‒as we do with flu shots‒though at what frequency is yet to be discovered. The vaccine will be free to all Americans, and more than a billion doses are expected to be available in 2021. 


A note: Though Pfizer did agree to allow the U.S. government to receive 100 million doses of the vaccine for $1.95 billion through a partnership, the vaccine itself was not a part of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed. According to Bourla: “We announced [the vaccine] the moment we learned about it, and I said multiple times the election for us is an artificial timeline. This is when science brought it to us.”

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.


5. Actions

Though the election is almost over, there is still work to be done. I suggest continuing to check Color of Change for actions and petitions.


  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.


  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category


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