November 1, 2020 News Summary
US Politics and Economics
As election day approaches, all eyes are on President Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden as their respective campaigns start to wrap up in the days approaching November 3rd. Today, Trump is expected to hold five rallies in Michigan, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, all of whom are key swing states. Vice President Mike Pence will be in North Carolina for his second day in a row. On the Democrats’ side, Joe Biden is expected to rally in Pennsylvania, yet another key state that Trump won four years ago, and his Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris will be in Georgia and North Carolina. (Source, Source)
Of course, the President is elected through the electoral college, a system that gives states a certain number of electors based on its population, for example, California has 55 electoral votes, while sparsely populated Alaska has 3. In total, there are 538 electoral votes, and a simple majority, or 270 votes, is needed to become president. The system is also a winner-take-all, meaning if a candidate gets a simple majority of the popular vote in each state, they get all the electoral votes.
As of 8 am today, 92 million people have voted, representing just over two-thirds of the number cast in 2016. Currently, California leads in the number of ballots cast at10.6 million, compared to 9.7 million in Texas and 8.3 million in Florida. However, it is Hawaii that leads in the percentage of 2016 ballots cast; its 484,000 vote make up 110% of the number cast in 2016. Texas is in second with 108%. Democrats lead with 46% of the total number of ballots cast, while Republicans are in second with 30% and a lead in in-person votes.
Separate from vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris’ visit to Texas on Friday, “a group of Trump supporters, driving trucks and waving Trump flags, surrounded and followed a Biden campaign bus as it drove up I-35 in Hays County,” per Texas Tribune. On Twitter, supporters posted #TrumpTrainTexas and called for others to “escort the Biden [bus] coming through San Antonio.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is currently investigating the incident, which caused a minor collision and the cancellation of three scheduled Biden campaign events on Friday due to “safety concerns.” Allen West, Chairman of the Texas Republican Party, claims that the event “...is more fake news and propaganda.” The President further tweeted a video of his supporters saying, “I love Texas!” while following the Biden campaign’s bus yesterday night.
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of November 1, 2020, 12:32 PM, there are over 9.10 million cases and almost 230k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most cases at a total of 922k, and Texas follows by a total of 900k cases.
(Washington Post) State health officials are expressing frustration about a lack of financial funding and resources, despite the expectancy of a prepared vaccine distribution by November 15th. State officials have been planning in earnest in recent weeks to get shots into arms even though no one knows when the FDA will approve a vaccine. Concern about the COVID-19 vaccine are increasing.
Science and Technology
Last night, a rare blue moon was visible in the downtown Los Angeles sky. A blue moon on the night of Halloween has not occurred since 1944, and it gives an accordingly spooky feeling. Black clouds floated across the moon which glowed orange.
Per BBC, first-handed prevention of pandemics is more affordable than to “cure” their causes. “Contact between people, wildlife, and livestock must be curbed to cut the risk of bacteria and viruses crossing from animals to humans.” If sufficient needs are provided for “people living close to animals in high-risk areas,” outbreaks may be better limited.
Matt Clement from Carnegie is attempting to determine the original location of Saturn and Jupiter. “We now know that there are thousands of planetary systems in our Milky Way galaxy alone,” he stated, “But it turns out that the arrangement of planets in our own Solar System is highly unusual, so we are using models to reverse engineer and replicate its formative processes. This is a bit like trying to figure out what happened in a car crash after the fact — how fast were the cars going, in what directions, and so on.”
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) Yesterday’s forming disturbance is now Tropical storm Eta, which is currently moving 15 mph westwards and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making a deadly landfall on Tuesday.
(Pacific) The disturbance spotted on the radar a few days ago is strengthening to an 80% chance of forming. The chances of it making landfall are slim as it moves northwest to likely becoming a tropical depression.
(Local) Skies are expected to be clear until Saturday, November 14th with a few showers.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan, Miranda, Caleb, and Annabelle
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew, David, and Owen
Science and Technology: Bryan, Yiqi, and Amelia
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)