August 3, 2020 News Summary
Updated: Aug 4, 2020
US Politics and Economics
As the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic evolved over the past few months, so did President Trump and his administration’s response to the public opinion surrounding the response. The website FiveThirtyEight analyzed data from hundreds of polls across the past few months and split the polls based on the party. FiveThirtyEight found that approval for Trump’s response varies widely by party, with 78% of Republicans approving his response, but only 9% of Democrats approving the administration’s response. The rate for all parties has declined since mid-March. However, the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and it is up to the Trump Administration to turn this pandemic around. (On the eve of the 2016 election, FiveThirtyEight gave Hillary Clinton a 71% chance of winning and Donald Trump a 29% chance - cited by Wikipedia as of August 3, 2020).
As many education institutions return to campus during COVID-19, the University of Texas at Austin decided to publish the data about all of its known coronavirus cases; hence, putting together a dashboard where anybody could see the updated case count. However, the numbers are contriving students and teachers to question returning to school, as it surely has “created a wave of bad publicity.” According to UT-Austin’s dashboard, around 170 faculty and staff members and 290 students have tested positive for the coronavirus since March. Annisa Salsabila, a rising sophomore at UT-Austin, conveys that “the fact that UT has more than 400 cases is concerning.” Even so, completely having online classes may not be possible for all students, as only ⅓ of classes can be taught online. Faculty members are assuring students and their families that safety precautions will be taken to slow the spread of cases in the fall semester for UT Austin.
As of August 3, 2020, 12:15 PM, there have been 154,471 total deaths and 4,649,102 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Dr. Deborah Birx, an American physician and diplomat serving as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator and White House Coronavirus Advisor, states that the U.S is in a new phase of the pandemic. She urges U.S citizens to follow current guidelines to prevent the spread of the unwelcoming virus.
A study by the Henry Ford Health System and published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases found that “treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 – and without heart-related side-effects”-- unless you had pre-existing heart problems. Between March 10th to May 2nd, they studied 2,541 patients that were hospitalized in six hospitals and discovered that they had a 13% chance of death with hydroxychloroquine compared to 26.4% without.
Contrastingly, per NBC’s article, “Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Scientists say it's time to stop promoting the drug,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease physician at Emory University School of Medicine expressed that “there is no reason to keep talking about hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. It does not work for treatment or for prevention. I have no idea why there is still talk about it, but it’s wrong.”
Science and Technology
Business Insider reports that Amazon, a company Jeff Bezos founded in 1995, finalized a major victory this week when it was granted regulatory approval to move forward with Kuiper, a fleet of 3,236 internet-carrying satellites. Once completed, Kuiper will be in direct competition with Starlink, a similar but a much larger fleet from Elon Musk's SpaceX of 12,000 to 42,000 satellite megaconstellation.
Additionally, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, which carries NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, landed down into the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, marking a safe conclusion to a historic two-month mission and paving the way for the United States to once again become a world leader in human spaceflight.
World Politics and Economics
Mali, a country in Africa, has been beset with mass protests against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, who has taken office since 2013. On occasion, tens of thousands of people pour into the streets of the capital, Bamako, to demand the president’s resignation. As a result, disparate elements of Malian society are uniting around their deep anger which partly stems from the COVID-19 situation. In addition, a great possibility for critical systemic change has arisen and it is necessary that the governments exploit this moment to ensure that change is happening presently and is, in fact, for the better.
Spain's former king, Juan Carlos, who reigned from November of 1975 until his abdication in June 2014, announced that he is departing from the country, weeks after he has been linked to an investigation of presumed financial corruption. Earlier in June, Spain's Court of Law began an inspection of the former king’s participation in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia. Recently, however, Juan Carlos declared in a letter to his son Felipe Vl of Spain, whom he passed his power six years ago, "guided by the conviction to best serve the people of Spain, its institutions, and you as king, I inform you of my decision at this time to go into exile outside Spain.” Nevertheless, he also announced that he would still be available if prosecutors needed to question him regarding his relation to alleged corruption.
Southeast US Weather
Tropical Storm Isaias is expected to redevelop into a hurricane later tonight from multiple warnings and watches on the east coast, and radar maps display that the storm is developing an eyewall, assisting in making the storm strenghten. However, the latest official forecast speculates that Isaias will move into the Appalachian Mountains, implying that Isaias’s strength may still decrease. Simultaneously, 94L Invest in the Atlantic is intensifying but is still lacking concerning its rotation movements. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) steadfastly declares that it still has a 60% of forming in five days, while some others believe there’s a 20% chance of formation-- or even none at all.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, and Yijia
Texas Politics: Stephanie and Vicki
Health: Matthew, Megan, and Allison
Science and Technology: Bryan, Andrew, and Yiqi
World Politics and Economics: Joseph, William, and Jake
Southeast US Weather: Jade and Aiden
Editors: VIA and Susanna
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)