Summit Briefing: Week of 2/8/21
Hundreds of San Francisco’s Chinatown protest racism against members of the Chinese community. Violence against the community has increased as a result of COVID-19. Jessica Christian for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Your Summit Weekly Briefing
By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal
Note: Starting today, briefings will be listed solely in the “Weekly Briefing” section of Summit News as opposed to the “News” and “Opinion” sections. We’d like to remind our readers that, while we try to remain unbiased, we are ultimately human, and that may show through in our writing. This is especially true of the “Actions” section.
1. General News: Attacks on elderly Asian Americans due to COVID-19
Many unprecedented attacks on Asian Americans have been occurring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the many attacks, the Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’ Malley created a specialized unit that covers crimes against Asian Americans. Attacks have especially been happening in the Bay Area, with an 84-year-old male Asian American dying after being attacked on the streets of San Francisco. Furthermore, a 91-year-old man, a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman being forcibly pushed into trees in Oakland. Perpetrators of both attacks have been charged with criminal activity.
These Anti-Asian feelings have been propping up because of the fact that COVID-19 first became prominent in Wuhan, China. This stigma was not helped by former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly called the illness the “China virus.” Studies from the Pew Research Center have shown that many Asian-Americans have experienced discrimination and racial slurs towards themselves.
Unlike former President Trump, President Joe Biden has taken measures to address the prejudice, singing an official document acknowledging the recent bias directed towards the Department of Health and Human Services to make headway with increased language access and sensitivity toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. White House press secretary Jen Psaki has stated that the President is troubled by the bigotry, also saying, “But obviously the executive order is something he did very early in his administration … because he felt it was so important to put a marker down.”
2. Covid-19: COVID-19 variants may be homegrown
A COVID-19 patient, age 45, had COVID-19 for months, always semi-recovering but never fully recovering. It was found out by Dr. Jonathan Li of the Brigham and Women’s hospital that the virus was constantly evolving in the person’s body. The patient developed many different symptoms in the last few weeks of his life, before succumbing to the virus 154 days after he contracted it.
The mutations that were going inside the patient’s body were the same kind of mutations that the new UK and South Africa variants. Dr. Li said, “They weren’t there at the beginning. They only developed in this patient over time.” This case of COVID-19 proves that if people with a weak immune system have the virus for a long period of time, it can evolve into something much worse. This case also proves that the virus can be “homegrown and imported”, as Dr. Bruce Walker of the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard says.
Walker also stated that the more time the virus has to reproduce, the more likely it is that new mutations and variants will come about. In addition, since there is no exact vaccine or treatment that can fully cure COVID-19, the chance for mutations is even more certain. Some treatments may even be making these mutations more likely to come up, like with convalescent plasma, which is made from the blood of the people who have recovered from the virus.
Dr. Li worried about how the new mutations are popping up saying, “It is concerning that immunocompromised patients out there could be a source of evolution in the community.”
However, Dr. Li does not think you should not use treatments that have been proven to do this, despite the fact. Doctors just need to be careful and proceed with treatments with caution.
Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.
3. Politics: Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s first signed opinion, Marjorie Taylor Greene
In a decision that may brand her more moderate than predicted, Justice Amy Coney Barrett penned an opinion that a ban on indoor singing in California places of worship should remain in effect in the case South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom. The signed opinion was her first since her induction into the Supreme Court in October. California, which is in NPR’s red zone when it comes to case numbers, has enacted numerous restrictions to slow community spread. As such, the ban on indoor singing applies to secular spaces as well, such as theatres. The plaintiffs, South Bay United Pentecostal Church, will be able to “gather additional evidence and try to convince a lower court to strike down those limits as well,” (Ian Millhiser, Vice News). South Bay could claim that indoor singing being allowed on Hollywood sets was proof of unequal treatment, as outlined in conservative judge Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion on the case. They could also argue that the singing ban infringes on their 1rst Amendment right to freedom of religion. Conversely, Governor Newsom’s lawyers could argue that the law was being equally applied, as Justice Gorsuch himself has noted that there has been “some confusion over what rules actually apply to Hollywood” or that certain laws that affect religious life have been ruled constitutional if they have secular roots, such as Braunfeld v. Brown (1961). The overall decision by the court was that a complete ban on indoor services was unconstitutional, but that capacity limits and singing bans could stay in place.
On Tuesday, February 4th, House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene was removed from her two committees. The decision was a 230-199 vote, with 11 Republicans joining the Democrats voting to remove her. The move comes after various Facebook and Twitter posts and comments, blog posts, and other forms of media have surfaced, which advocate for:
- Impeaching Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for treason and the implication she could be executed for the same crime in a 2019 blog post and Facebook “press release.” Representative Greene also liked a tweet stating that Speaker Pelosi should be put to death.
- QAnon, a debunked conspiracy theory that believes a cabal of Democrat child predators are secretly running the government and that former-president Donald Trump is battling them (find more details in this New York Times article). Representative Green has since distanced herself from the conspiracy, though she did compare her radicalization to mainstream media, asking on the House floor “Will we allow the media, that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies, to divide us?” She also did not specifically apologize for her past comments.
Representative Greene also endorsed various conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate and Frazzledrip, denied 9/11 and mass shootings (she has since apologized for the former) and that a space laser controlled by a prominent Jewish family caused the California Campfire*, among other theories.**
Representative Green was removed from the Budget Committee as well as the Education and Labor Committee. This means she will no longer be able to aid in amending bills specific to those committees and recommending the bills for approval. She will of course still have the other powers of a House Representative, including proposing and voting on bills in general.
*As a Jewish person, I can assure you we do not, in fact, own a space laser.
**Trigger warnings for p*dophilia in this source.
4. Sports: Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV
This past weekend had the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bucs) face off against the Kansas City Chiefs for the title of Super Bowl Champions. With a score of 9-31, the Bucs beat out the Chiefs by 9 points, who failed to defend their title. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady achieves his seventh Super Bowl ring and his first not with the New England Patriots. The Chiefs, led by 25-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes, lose against Tom Brady for the second time after losing their conference championship game against him in 2019. While the 2019 loss was a close one, their Super Bowl loss was the opposite, gaining only three points in the second half of the game. However, the Chiefs are not and should not be too discouraged by this loss, as they still have a promising future with Mahomes, with him saying, “We can’t let this define us,” Mahomes said. “We have to continue to get better going into next year and prepare ourselves to hopefully be in this game again.” With a 14-2 record this past regular season, the best in the NFL, the Chiefs are more than likely to make a comeback next season, despite the devastating loss.
5. Summit: Kevin Champeny’s Art
In the piece “Artist Kevin Champeny Receives Backlash For Piece Titled Defiance”, staff writer Sarah Rusali examines the various reactions to mosaic artist Kevin Champeny’s newly reuploaded art, titled “Defiance” which depicts former president Donald Trump and is made up of 4,000 tiny hand-cast middle fingers.
Atlas (West Seattle): If you like cold weather, you’ll certainly enjoy this week. Today-Weds will see highs of 41-42℉. Those highs will then drip dramatically to 33-34℉ Thurs-Sat, then rise again to 38℉ Sun and 40℉ Mon. Lows will dip, then rise again towards the end of the week, with today’s being 32℉, Weds 29℉, Thurs-Fri 26-27℉, Sat back up to 30℉, Sun 33℉, and finally a comparatively high 36℉ Mon. This week won’t see much sun either—today-Weds will be mostly cloudy, Thurs-Sat will see snow showers, clouds again Sun, and finally rain and snow Mon. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 40’s and 30’s, lows in the low 30’s and mid to high 20’s little sun, some rain and snow.
Olympus (Tacoma): This week’s highs will dip, then rise back up at the very end of the week. Today’s will be 43℉, Weds 41℉, a dramatic fall to 32-33℉ Thurs-Sat, and back up to 38-39℉ Sat-Mon. Lows will start in the 20’s then rise to the 30’s towards the end of the week, with today-Weds being 29℉, 24-25℉ Thurs-Fri, up to 28℉ Sat, 31℉ Sun and 35℉ Mon. If you hate the sun you’ll love this week—today-Weds will be mostly cloudy, then snow showers Thurs-Sat, clouds again Sun and snow showers and rain Mon. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the low 40’s to 30’s, lows in the mid to high 20’s to mid to low 30’s, little sun, some rain and snow.
Sierra (Seattle): This week’s highs will transition from the 40’s to low 30’s and back again, with today-Weds’ being 40℉, Thurs-Sat 32-33℉ and Sun-Mon 38-39℉. Lows will stick in the low 20’s to mid 30’s with today’s being 30℉, Weds 28℉, Thurs 24℉, Fri 26℉, Sat 29℉, Sun 31℉ and Mon 34℉. This week won’t be a sunny one, with mostly clouds Tues-Weds, snow showers Thurs, clouds again Fri, snow showers again Sat, clouds again Sun, and snow showers and rain Mon. Stay warm, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: highs in the low 40’s to low to high 30’s, lows in the mid 30’s to mid to high 20’s, clouds most days with snow showers and rain towards the end of the week.
Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week will stay in the low 60’s to high 50’s with today-Fri being an alternating 61℉ and 64℉, 58-59℉ Sat-Sun and back up to 61℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the low to high 40’s, with today-Weds’ being 43-44℉, Thurs-Fri 47-48℉, 45℉ Sat, 42℉ Sun, and back up to 48℉ Mon. This week won’t be particularly sunny, with partial clouds today, a single day of full sun Weds, scattered showers Thurs-Fri, showers Sat and partial clouds again Sun-Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: highs in the low 60’s to high 50’s, lows in the high to low 40’s, clouds, rain towards the end of the week.
Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will range from the mid 50’s to 60’s with alternating 58℉ and 60℉ Tues-Fri, 55-56℉ Sat-Sun and 58℉ Mon. Lows will stick in the 40’s, with today-Weds’ being 43-44℉, Thurs-Fri 46-47℉, 44℉ Sat, 42℉ Sun and 47℉ Mon. Don’t look forward to much sun this week—there will be partial clouds today, sun Weds, showers Thurs, partial clouds again Fri, showers Sat and finally partial clouds Sun-Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the 50’s and lows in the 40’s. Clouds most of the week with showers Thurs and Sat.
K2 (El Cerrito): This week’s highs will range from low 60’s to high 50’s, with today’s being 60℉, 63℉ Weds, down to 59℉ Thurs, 64℉, 58℉ Sat and finally 61℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will range throughout the 40’s, with today-Weds’ being 44-45℉, 48℉ Thurs-Fri, back down to 45℉ Sat, 43℉ Sun and finally 47℉ Mon. Most of the week will be partially cloudy with the exceptions of full sun Weds and showers Thurs and Sat. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the high 50’s and low 60’s, lows in the 40’s, mostly partial clouds with some showers Thurs and Sat.
Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will range from the high 50’s to low 60’s, with today’s being 59℉, 62℉ Weds, 58℉ Thurs, back to 62℉ Fri, 57℉ Sat and finally 60℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will stay in the 40’s with today-Weds’ being 45-46℉, Thurs-Fri 48-49℉, back to 44-45℉ Sat-Sun and 47℉ Mon. This week will hold partial clouds, with the exception of full sun Weds and showers Thurs and Sat. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: highs will range from high 50’s-low 60’s, lows throughout the 40’s and mostly clouds with the exception of a few days of showers.
Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range from the mid to high 50’s with a chance of 55℉ Tues, 57-58℉ Weds-Thurs, 59℉ Fri and 56-57℉ Sat-Mon. Lows will stay in the mid to high 40’s with 47℉ Tues, 48-49℉ Weds-Fri, 46℉ Sat-Sun and finally 48℉ Mon. This week will also hold partial clouds everyday with the exception of full sun Weds and showers Thurs-Sat. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
Summary: Highs in the mid-high 50’s, lows in the mid-high 40’s, partial clouds with some showers Thurs and Sat.
Tahoma (San Jose): High 50’s to mid 60’s will be the theme of this week’s highs, with today’s being 61℉, 65℉ Weds, 62℉ Thurs, back to 65℉ Fri, 59-60℉ Sat-Sun and finally 62℉ Mon. Lows will range throughout the 40’s with today-Weds’ being 43-44℉, 48-49℉ Thurs-Fri, 46℉ Sat, down to 43℉ Sun and finally back up to 48℉ Mon. Most of the week will be partially cloudy, with the exception of full sun Weds, scattered showers Thurs and showers Sat. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.
7. Actions: Voting rights, guaranteed housing
- Sign this petition to co-sponsor Senator Amy Klobuchar’s voting rights bill, which includes expanded early voting, increased time to register for and request ballots and the ability for voters to track their ballots.
- Sign this petition to urge Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing housing for every American.
And, as always:
- 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.