October 9, 2020 News Summary
Updated: Oct 11, 2020
US Politics and Economics
Following the President’s health and positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) considered a virtual debate in place of the scheduled, in-person debate in Miami. However, President Trump dismissed the idea, declaring, “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about.” The President’s refusal has prompted the CPD to cancel the debate next Tuesday. According to the New York Times, Bill Stepien, the campaign manager, attempted to justify Trump’s refusal of a virtual format, claiming that there is “no medical reason why the Commission on Presidential Debates should shift the debate to a virtual setting,” and also arguing that “Trump will have posted multiple negative tests prior to the debate.”
The Trump campaign proposed to delay the debate for a week from Oct. 15th to Oct. 22nd, which the Biden’s campaign rejected possibly out of concern for the election day. Critics of the debate cancelation point out that Trump’s doctor, Sean Conley, sent out a memo assuring that Trump will be able to return to public engagements this weekend.
Yesterday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released information regarding a plan involved with the kidnapping of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In response to Whitmer’s political clashes with the current President, a right-wing militia extremist group, the Wolverine Watchmen, plotted to kidnap the Governor and put her on trial for treason. The militia group armed themselves with military-grade weapons, explosives, and silencers, along with basic architectural schematics and months to plan. Through social media posts and related messages, the FBI became informed of their plot, which included having about 200 people storm the Governor’s residence and execute her.
Likewise, extremist groups, such as the Proud Boys, have recently adopted rhetoric from the first presidential debate, including the President’s message to “stand back and stand by.” Nationwide, clashes among those armed with gas and paintballs are occurring between Black Lives Matter protesters and radical right-wing supporters.
Gov. Greg Abbot and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic receives controversial opinions from the public. According to Texas Tribune, 47% of Texas registered voters approve of the governor’s overall job performance, while 40% don’t. Compared to April, where 56% of Texas voters approved of Abbott’s action and 29% disapproved, confidence from citizens has wavered. “There’s a COVID bump, early in the response to the pandemic and being the person in charge of that response,” said James Henson, who heads the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin and co-directs the poll.
According to CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, as of October 9, 2020, 12:21 PM, there are over 7.58 million cases and 212.1k deaths nationwide. California leads with the most infections at a total of 834.8k, and Texas follows with almost 781.8k cases.
(National Public Radio) Virologist Robert Gallo directs the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is chairman of the Global Virus Network. As one of the major scientists credited with the discovery of human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), Gallo believes that the flu vaccine has a chance of offering some protection against COVID-19. He states, “...the vaccine has to have a live virus in it. The virus is attenuated so it doesn't cause disease, but otherwise, the virus is alive...There's plenty of evidence for it...The weakness is we don't really know the longevity [of the protection]. It will probably work only for months, but we can't say for sure."
World Politics and Economics
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Netflix series “Planet Earth” Narrator, Sir David Attenborough, plan to launch a “Nobel Prize for environmentalism” by searching for “50 solutions to the world’s gravest environmental problems.” The Duke told BBC that the Earthshot Prize, with a reward of £50m, “is really about harnessing that optimism and that urgency to find some of the world's solutions to some of the greatest environmental problems."
Science and Technology
NASA’s first asteroid return mission has arrived at Earth with samples from the asteroid Bennu. “The abundance of carbon-bearing material is a major scientific triumph for the mission. We are now optimistic that we will collect and return a sample with organic material – a central goal of the OSIRIS-REx mission,” said Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Southeast US Weather
(Atlantic) Hurricane Delta made landfall today in the Cameron Parish but is expected to dissipate soon after. In the Main Development Region (MDR) of the Atlantic, there is an area of interest with a 20% chance of forming.
(Pacific) Tropical depression Norbert is slowing down to a maximum of 25 mph winds and moving at only 10 mph towards Mexico. The chances of Norbert hitting Mexico are slim but, in such an occurrence, it will hit with strength and speed.
The other disturbance is located about 1300 miles southwest of Mexico and has a 50% chance of forming, despite moving away and off of the Pacific radar.
(Local: Houston) The high has jumped back up to the 90s and the low to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Chances of rain will be below 20% after Hurricane Delta passes today.
US Politics and Economics: Dylan and Caleb
Texas Politics: Stephanie, Vicki, and Megan
Health: Matthew and David
World Politics and Economics: Amelia
Science and Technology: Bryan
Southeast US Weather: Jade, Aiden, and Simon
(All writers and editors are in middle to high school)