Weekly Roundup: January 24—30
The Weekly Roundup by GWCD is a collaboration between members of the news & blog committee to compile three main headlines from the week. As one of the goals of the committee is to keep our GWCD community updated on current events, the Weekly Roundup is intended as an easy way for members to read up on the highlights from each week in addition to the articles published regularly by our members.
Millions in Earmarked Funds for Vaccine Research Misused
By Jane Cameron
Federal officials have reportedly been misusing funds earmarked for vaccine development and other public health concerns, allocating them to other miscellaneous matters. The money was instead to be used for expenses of the administrative office, removal of office furniture, and other tasks unrelated to health matters. As of the 2019 fiscal year, approximately $25 million was taken from BARDA's funding. However, such a violation began occurring in 2010, during the Obama Administration.
The Department of Health and Human Services’s inspector General initiated an investigation after the Office of Special Counsel was alerted of these actions being taken by a whistleblower. This money was set aside by Congress for development of medicine that could save the lives of Americans and instead has left the country with insufficient funds during a pandemic. The ability of individuals in government to take advantage of such funding for an extended period brings to light concerns about the people we depend on to maintain democracy and help citizens.
Continued Controversies Engulf Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene
By Manuel Wallick
Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, a freshman Republican member of the House of Representatives from northern Georgia is facing a series of consequences and possible expulsion after past social media posts and actions have been made public. Though it is unlikely she will be expelled from Congress as that would require a two-thirds majority vote from the House, she may still face other consequences. Pressure has also come on Republican leadership to address the issue themselves, but has yet to do so. At issue are social media posts that appear to support violence against Democrats in Congress, a video harassing a school shooting survivor, and confrontations over the use of masks at the Capitol.
Recently, a video went viral which shows Greene following David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, and shouting unfounded claims and protestations at him. While this was prior to her election, another confrontation with Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri was more recent. Due to confrontations over the use of masks, Bush has decided to move her office away from that of Greene for safety reasons. These along with a variety of other actions she has taken have resulted in this outcry.
New Evidence Shows Planning Behind the Storming of the Capitol Building
By Abby Osborne
New evidence from federal investigators shows that some of the insurrectionists who participated in the storming of the Capitol on January 6th were operating on well thought-out plans.. Investigators claim these individuals were “deploying communications systems and issuing marching orders to rioters as they battled police.”
An affidavit the FBI filed on Tuesday detailed how Proud Boys prepared to storm the Capitol through the usage of “earpieces and walkie-talkies” in order “to direct movements throughout the building” as well as discussing whether or not to wear black in an effort “to dupe people into blaming antifa for any trouble.”
Two members of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, 43, and William Pepe, 31, were “charged with conspiracy” on Friday by federal prosecutors. Prosecutors said the two “engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct, influence, impede, and interfere with law enforcement officers” that were carrying out their duties to protect the Capitol building that day.