Summit Briefing: Week of 1/11/21
Leah Millis/Reuters. Via Business Insider.
Your Summit Weekly Briefing
By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal
1. General News: U.S. Capitol Riot
The U.S. Capitol was stormed by angry Trump supporters on Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C. Fueled by anger due to what they called a “stolen election”, masses of people violently rioted outside the Capitol Building, chanting angrily about officials like Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pence, and Joe Biden. It was revealed that many racist and extremist groups were enticed by President Trump to gather at the Capitol, to “take back their country”, many of them armed with guns and pipe bombs. Federal law enforcement are working hard to identify who was involved in this riot and who may be involved in future ones. Over 20 arrests have been made so far since last Wednesday. Five people died because of the riot, four being Trump supporters, and one being an officer defending the Capitol.
The storming of the Capitol raised many questions, one being the matter of security. Trump supporters broke into many different offices in the Capitol, with a stolen laptop being reported, along with numerous documents and other electronic items. While there is no evidence there cybersecurity was threatened by people hacking or looking into computers or other devices while in the Capitol, it is a possibility government officials need to worry about. Things like emails and file servers may be at risk, while things like malware and hardware modifications may have been added to certain technology inside the Capitol. The congressional IT division has been working to find out what has been taken and have taken measures to make sure that the government’s cybersecurity is not further threatened. However, if certain information ends up in the wrong hands, our whole country may be in danger.
In response to the riot, many companies have stopped funding and assisting many Republicans that supported the movement to have Joe Biden not become President, as that was the main reason behind the riot. Banks like Citigroup and Bank of America, and companies like Mariott, and the Blue Cross Shield Association have all “halted donations to Republicans who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election.” These organizations have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to certain political groups and officials, and without them, these groups and officials will have to deal with the lasting negative effects of their actions. They may not have the proper funding to succeed in things like elections, and their reputations may be tarnished for a long period of time.
Another significant effect of the Capitol riot is the double standard the government and police have shown when dealing with protests. Last year, many African-American people gathered at the White House to peacefully protest the use of lethal force against Black people. Officer used tear gas, pepper spray, and batons in response. On the other hand, the riot that just happened last week, consisting of mainly white Americans, violently stormed the U.S. Capitol building, and were met with measly shields and a weak defense. Critics agree that in “Black America”, peaceful gatherings are often met with aggressive police, unfair arrests, and death, whi;e in “White America”, vicious riots, many with firearms are met with far less force. President-Elect Joe Biden agrees, stating, “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they would have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.” Many civil rights groups have come forward and said the same. Many officers were suspended for how they dealt with the riot, with some taking selfies and letting rioters cross barricades.
2. Covid-19: January may be the worst month of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Just in the first 10 days of 2021, the U.S. has already accumulated 2.2 million new COVID-19 cases. The Christmas holidays made this count even worse than it should have been. People gathered with other large groups of people, a lot of these gatherings not including masks, resulting in even quicker rising COVID-19 cases.
Along with the 2.2 million new cases in 2021, there have been 27,000 deaths. January may even pass December, which had 77,431 deaths, as the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. Death rates will rise even higher, with the new and more quickly-spreading variant of the virus from the U.K. spreading to at east 8 U.S. states, including Calif. Furthermore, Thursday, Jan 4th, marked a new record in the U.S., as there were over 4,000 COVID-19 deaths that day, The U.S. capitol riot will introduce an even bigger durge in COVID-19 cases, as a large group of unmasked people is bound to have COVID-19 spread amongst them. These people most likely will not quarantine properly after this, resulting in them spreading the virus to even more people.
New hospitalization records have also happened across the U.S. The state of Texas has had, with a record number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals at 13,935 people. Florida has 7,497 hospitalized patients, which is about 3,000 more than what it was on December 12th, at 4,343. In Calif., new records were set with the most COVID-19 deaths in one day at 695, and the state has hit 4,939 people in intensive care units, the most it has ever had.
Meanwhile, vaccines are not working out like planned, with many not actually getting to hospitals, as said by Dr. Megan Ranney, a medical analyst for CNN and an emergency physician. President Elect Joe Biden has reportedly said that he will try to roll out as many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as he can, even though vaccine production has not been sped up, which may result in a quick shortage of the vaccine. Officials have also said if you receive the vaccine, you should expect to get your second dose of the vaccine 21 days (Pfizer vaccine) or 28 days (Moderna vaccine) after your first dose. Dr Leanna Wen, also a medical analyst for CNN and an emergency physician, has said that people should take no more or less than 2 doses of the vaccine, and supports the speeding up of vaccine distribution.
Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.
3. Politics: Trump impeachment round two, Democrats control both Houses
Trump may be impeached a second time by the House of Representatives, and Democrats now control both the House and Senate. But what does any of this mean?
Let’s start with impeachment. To review, President Donald Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives December 18th, 2020. However, he was not removed from office by the then-Republican controlled Senate. After the riots in the Capitol last Wednesday the 6th, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the House was prepared to impeach Trump, though new House Majority No. 3 Rep. James Clyburn (Democrat, South Carolina) stated that the House was prepared to vote on Articles of Impeachment early this week, though they most likely would not send the Articles to the Senate until after President-elect Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. This would give Biden enough time to pass legislation that would ease the effects of COVID-19, including vaccine distribution. Indeed, the House will vote to impeach Trump Weds and vote on a resolution later today that would urge Vice-President Pence to declare Trump unfit to lead under the 25th Amendment.
This brings us to the new Democratic majority in the Senate. A bill can be proposed by either House and is often worked on by a committee before being voted upon, while Articles of Impeachment must be drafted by the House (for more details, I suggest Khan Academy’s videos on Impeachment and How a Bill Becomes a Law). However, for a bill, impeachment, or even COVID-19 relief package to pass, a majority vote from both parties is necessary. With Democrats controlling the House, more liberal legislation has been passed, an example being $2,000 stimulus checks, but have either been rejected or even refused to be heard (such as the stimulus check)* by the Rupublican controlled Senate. After a runoff election in Georgia on Tuesday, January 5th, the two Democratic candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, were declared the winners on January 7th. The Senate is now evenly split: 50 Democratic Senators and 50 Republican. However, if a vote on legislation results in a tie, the Vice President breaks it. With Kamala Harris, a Democrat, being that tie breaker, legislation such as Impeachment is much more likely to pass.
What would impeaching Trump after his removal even do? While he would not be removed from office, as he would have already left, the Senate could still vote to bar him from holding office again, which would prevent him from, say, running for president in 2024. That said, some legal experts believe Trump could not be impeached if already out of office. Trump could sue to prevent the trials, but it is unlikely he would win the case, as the Constitution gives the Senate “the sole power to try all impeachments,” meaning that any court would most likely rule in the Senate’s favor.
*The $2,000 stimulus checks may actually have been passed, had they not been blocked from reaching the floor by then-Senate Majority Leader and Republican Mitch McConnell. However, with a new Democratic majority in the Senate comes a new, Democratic Majority Leader, meaning the bill would be voted upon.
More news: In a January 3rd call, Mr. Trump asked Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger (Republican) to “…find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.” (The Washington Post) The call is in line with a debunked conspiracy theory that Trump actually won Georgia. He is effectively encouraging Mr. Raffensperger to commit fraud. Mr. Raffensperger refused. Listen to the call (or read the transcript) here. You may need to copy the link and put it into an incognito tab to view.
4. Sports: Cleveland Browns win first playoff game since 1995,
After an incredible game, the Cleveland Browns, a team known for their losing streaks, won their first playoff game since 1995 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan 7. The Browns are part of the National Football League (NFL), and have been since 1950. One remarkable play was in the very beginning of the game, when Browns’ player Karl Joseph retrieved the ball and scored a touchdown after the ball went flying over Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ quarterback, after a failed snap. The Browns also scored 28 points in one quarter, with the last time a team scored at least 28 points or more during one quarter in 1969. From this game, notable players include JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson, who each received the ball for over 115 yards throughout the game. Ben Rothlisberger also played very well, despite being on the losing team, throwing for over 500 yards and four touchdown passes. The Browns officially move on to the second round of the playoffs, facing the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan 17.
5. Summit: Have Humans Evolved to Run?
In the article “The Crucial Question Of Human Evolution: Have We Evolved To Run?” Staff Writer Ethan Narimatsujayne explores a question I, as someone who has difficulties running, have been wondering for a long time: are human beings even supposed to run? According to various scientists, the answer is yes. According to Dr. Bramble, quoted in the article, the Animal Kingdom can be divided into “walkers” and “runners.” We human beings are in the latter group. While I am not yet convinced I personally am evolved to run, it seems that some other humans are.
Atlas (West Seattle): Highs will fall gradually throughout the week with today’s being 50℉, then down to 49℉ Thurs and Fri and down again to 47℉ Sat, after which highs will come up again to 50℉ Sun and 49℉ Mon. Lows will vary a bit more at the beginning of the week, with today’s being 37℉ and Thurs at 41℉. Fri-Mon’s lows will all sit at 40℉ with the exception of Sat, which will be a comparatively scorching 42℉. The week will also be fairly grey—expect partial clouds today and Thurs, rain again Fri, clouds Sat and Mon, with partial clouds on Sun. Wear a mask, stay warm and dry, and have a good week.
Olympus (Tacoma): Expect a week with fairly uniform highs at 48-49℉ with the exception of Sat at 46℉. Lows will bounce back and forth a bit more, with today’s being 35℉. Thurs and Fri will come back up again to 38℉, then rise again to 40℉ Sat, and finally drop again to 38-39℉ Sun and Mon. This week will be a grey one with partial clouds today-Thurs, light showers Fri, clouds Sat, rain again Sun and partial clouds Mon. Wear a mask, stay warm and dry, and have a good week.
Sierra (Seattle): This week’s highs will sit fairly uniformly at 48-49℉, with the exception of Fri-Sat’s 46-47℉. Lows will vary a bit more at the beginning of the week, with today’s being 35℉. Thurs’ lows will come back up to 40℉, then back down to 38℉ Fri. Sat will come back up to 40℉, then finally down again to 39℉ Sun and Mon. This week will also be fairly grey with partial clouds today-Thurs, rain Fri, clouds Sat, partial clouds again Sun and clouds Mon. Wear a mask, stay warm and dry, and have a good week.
Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week will rise steadily, with today’s being 64℉ and Thurs-Fri being 66-67℉. Highs will then plateau at 68℉ Sat-Mon. Lows will stay fairly similar, with today’s being 48℉, then 45-46℉ until Sun and Mon, which will be 47℉. The week will also be almost entirely partially cloudy with the exception of Mon, which is expected to reveal full sun. Wear a mask, enjoy the warmth and have a good week.
Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs will rise fairly steadily this week, with today’s being 63℉ and 64-65℉ Thurs-Sat. Sun’s highs will rise again to 66℉ and then 68℉ Mon. Lows, in contrast, will stay more uniform: 47-48℉ Weds, 46℉ Thurs-Fri, and 48-49℉ Sat-Mon. The week will also be filled with partial clouds, with the exception of Mon’s full sun. Wear a mask, enjoy the warmth, and have a good week.
K2 (El Cerrito): This week’s highs will bounce around: today’s will be 63℉, then 66℉ Thurs, back to 63℉ Fri and 66℉ again Sat. Sun will come back up again to 67℉ and finally 70℉ on Mon. Lows will stick closer together around the 47℉ range, with of the week being 47-48℉, with the exception of Thurs’ 46℉. Sun and Mon’s lows will sit at 50℉. The week’s weather patterns will bounce around a bit as well, with partial clouds expected Weds-Sun with the exception of fog on Thurs and full sun Mon. Wear a mask, roll with the weather and have a good week.
Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will rise steadily, with today-Fri being 62-63℉, Sat 64℉, Sun 66℉ and finally Mon 69℉. Lows will stick in the mid to high 40’s, with today’s being 47℉, Thurs 45℉, Fri-Sat 46-47℉ and finally Sun-Mon 49℉. In contrast, the week’s weather patterns will bounce around a bit, with partial clouds expected today-Sun with the exception of fog on Thurs and full sun Mon. Wear a mask, roll with the weather and have a good week.
Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range from 57-61℉, with today-Thurs’ being 61℉, Fri-Sat 59-60℉, Sun 61℉ and Mon 66℉. Lows will also stay in a similar range of 47-50℉, with today-Sat’s 47-48℉ and 50-51℉ Sun-Mon. Weather patterns, in comparison, will bounce around: alternating partially cloudy and foggy Weds-Sun patterns will occur, while Mon will grace us with full sun. Wear a mask, roll with the weather and have a good week.
Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will rise steadily, with today’s being 66℉, Thurs-Sat 68-69℉ and Sun-Mon 70℉. Lows will stay in the 45-48℉, with today’s being 48℉, Thurs-Fri 45-46℉ and Sat-Mon 46-47℉. The week will be almost exclusively partially cloudy, with the exception Mon’s full sun. Wear a mask, soak up that sun when you can and have a good week.
Editor’s note: each week, I will be posting petitions to sign/actions to take to support the BLM movement, ICE detainees, and other important matters. Remember, your voice counts, so use it.
- Sign this petition to hold members of Congress who refused to certify the election results, encouraging the riots in the Capitol. While refusing certification of results within certain states if the winner is in doubt is the right of any Congressmember, there has been no evidence of voter fraud. Per CNN:
“Since November, there had been numerous hand counts, audits, legal challenges and investigations into voter fraud that turned up nothing to support Trump’s claim and the senators’ justification for challenging Biden’s victory. Nonetheless, Republican senators have argued further investigation is warranted.”
- 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
- Learn more about the crisis at www.monareliefye.org/.