• News & Blog Committee

Weekly Roundup: October 26–November 8

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.


Biden Wins the 2020 Presidential Election


By Jane Cameron


Joe Biden was announced as the 46th president on Saturday, November 8th, after acquiring 273 Electoral College votes when Pennsylvania was called for him. Prior to several news outlets calling this race, President Trump tweeted "I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!" while headed to the golf course. He has continued this mentality and is contesting the election, unable to accept defeat.


Meanwhile, the country is celebrating the highest voter turnout recorded in history; more than 159.8 million. Crowds gathered to celebrate the victory across every major city in the country throughout the day. Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris spoke on Saturday night and delivered speeches that promised a hopeful future for the country. Kamala Harris inspired girls across the country with her words, claiming "While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities," Furthermore, Biden emphasized “I sought this office to restore the soul of America.”


The two have ambitious plans to lead the nation to a new stature in the world. Following these hopeful messages, the team announced they are planning to establish a coronavirus task force in their transition efforts. In the coming months the Biden-Harris administration will be strategizing an effort to transform the current rhetoric coming out of the White House and have communicated that they plan to reconnect the country when they take office.

Headlines from last week:


Global Increase in COVID Cases Prompt New Restrictions


By Manuel Wallick


Over the past week, COVID-19 cases have continued to rise not just in the United States but around the world. The United States has reached a new peak with daily and weekly case counts surpassing the records from the summer. The latest record is over 99,000 cases in a single day with several states also breaking their own records. This spike comes as America heads to the polls in one of the most contentious elections in recent history in which the virus is a key issue.


Europe has seen a second wave hit throughout much of the continent resulting in new shutdowns and other restrictions. The United Kingdom has seen a drastic rise particularly in the country’s north which has forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reimpose several restrictions including a second lockdown. Similar actions have been taken in France and in Germany which have seen cases spike in recent days. Other countries that had previously fared well have also seen setbacks, such as the Czech Republic, who recently hit record case counts.


While progress on a vaccine is ongoing, that is not something to be relied upon and likely will not be available for some time. Experts continue to advise that precautions such as social distancing and wearing masks must be carried out in order to continue to fight the pandemic.


Citizens of Philadelphia Protest After Shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.


By Jane Cameron


Philadelphia police shot a local black man, Walter Wallace Jr., on Monday the 26th of October, inducing widespread protests across the city. Wallace was mentally ill and shot after not following orders to drop the knife he was holding while arguing with police. He was shot at 14 times and dead by the end of the event. The following night, looting incidents occurred almost 300 times, and as protests became violent, over 50 police officers were injured. Wednesday and Friday, the city decided to institute a citywide curfew, and the National Guard was requested by city officials to help manage the situation.


The family of Wallace has voiced that they do not wish for the police to be charged with murder, because they blame the death of Wallace on insufficeient resources. The police had no tasers and their only choice of weapon were their guns. This brings to light the lack of preparation police officers have to respond to mental health emergencies.


Justice Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to Supreme Court


By Sriya Prathuri


On Monday October 26, Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed by the US Senate with a 52-48 vote to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. On Tuesday October 27, Barrett was sworn into office. Justice Barrettt served in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and was a law professor at Notre Dame. Her views align closely with the late Justice Scalia. Justice Barrett has a significant impact on the court, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.


Read more here.