December 16, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
On Monday, the 538 electors of the electoral college cast their ballots for either Joe Biden or President Donald Trump. After California’s 55 electors cast their ballots for Biden, the former Vice President surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to become President. The final result was 306-232, with Hawaii casting its votes last. This election had no faithless electors, meaning all electors voted for their respective state’s winner. According to the New York Times, the voting was surprisingly calm and smooth, despite demonstrations from the President’s side. Although Trump himself is yet to acknowledge the results, many Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who congratulated Biden on the victory and also warned fellow Republicans that an objection of the results wasn’t in their best interests) and foreign leaders, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, all congratulated the electoral college victor. A congressional vote certifying the results will be held in early-January.
As online learning continues, the possibility of cheating has increased significantly. After faculty members of Texas A&M reported concerns of cheating to the Aggie Honor System Office, they have started investigating the "large scale" cheating case. University officials noticed some students in the class answering online test questions too quickly. Later, faculty discovered entire exams posted on a “homework help” website. Texas Tribune reports, “University officials at Texas A&M and experts elsewhere said academic misconduct cases have increased during the pandemic as remote courses and online assignments create more opportunities for students to push the limits.”
As the deadline to use coronavirus funds draws near (December 30th), Texas still has around 2 billion it received from the federal coronavirus relief bill. Per Texas Tribune, “Governor Abbott has worked closely with legislative leaders and state agencies to allocate $6 billion so far, including an estimated $1.6 billion for [the Department of State Health Services] and [Texas Division of Emergency Management] to fund the state’s response through the end of the year,” said Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Gov. Greg Abbott, in a statement. “With $2 billion remaining of the original funding, the state will spend every dollar by the end of the year to ensure the health and well-being of all Texans.”
According to, CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of December 16, 2020, there are 16.56 million cases nationwide and 302k deaths. Currently, California leads with 1.61 million cases, while Texas follows with 1.51 million cases.
(CNN) The supply for vaccines is constrained; hence, the Trump administration's hopes of striking a deal with Pfizer to purchase another 100 million doses of the company's vaccines likely won’t happen. Although, officials say that they are still negotiating.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)