“What America has to understand is that we are about to enter COVID hell,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, the newly appointed coronavirus adviser to President-elect Joe Biden.1 The United States set all-time record highs for total coronavirus cases and total coronavirus hospitalizations, as well as for the valuation of the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 stock-market indexes.2 3 In El Paso, Texas, inmates were paid $2 an hour to move dead bodies, and a state appeals court ended the city’s ongoing lockdown early.4 5 Danish farmers dug mass graves and slaughtered at least 2,850,000 mink in an effort to prevent the spread of a mutation of the novel coronavirus that could compromise the effectiveness of a human vaccine; after backlash from animal-rights activists, Denmark’s prime minister scuppered a plan for the armed forces to slaughter an additional 14 million healthy mink after she admitted it had no legal basis.6 7 “I apologize for that,” she said. Some of El Chapo’s children built a makeshift school in an impoverished area of Sinaloa, Mexico, and decorated the building with their father’s initials.8 Students at Montreal’s McGill University advertised and allegedly held a secret on-campus fight night, which one witness attributed to COVID-19 restrictions; an official statement by McGill says that the school cannot confirm whether any fighting took place.9 A U.K. government report revealed that lockdowns and school closures have caused some formerly potty-trained children to regress to diapers and others to forget how to eat with a knife and fork.10 “I’ll be having more than 10 ppl at my house on Thanksgiving,” said New York City Council member Joe Borelli after New York State restricted private at-home gatherings to ten people.11 “Cousins will play in the yard, sis in law will bring strawberry rhubarb pie, & a turkey will be overcooked.”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has refused to share intelligence briefs with President-elect Joe Biden.12 Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick announced a $1 million fund to reward reports of voter fraud, and Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor attempted to collect the reward, writing, “I got a dude in Forty Fort, PA who tried to have his dead mom vote for Trump. I’d like [the reward] in Sheetz gift cards pls.”13 Lawyers representing Trump in Arizona told a judge that they don’t believe voter fraud occurred in the presidential election.14 The White House personnel director, John McEntee, instructed federal agencies to fire any Trump appointees seeking jobs in the Biden Administration or elsewhere.15 Donald Trump told aides that he plans to run for president again in 2024, and CNN’s Anderson Cooper expressed regret for comparing Trump to “an obese turtle.”16 17 Twitter permanently suspended an account associated with the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon after he suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, should be beheaded.18 “I’d put the heads on pikes,” Bannon said in a now-deleted video. “I’d put them at the two corners of the White House.” In Marshall, Arkansas, the chief of police resigned after posting on a right-wing messaging site that Democrats should be attacked and executed.19 Florida governor Ron DeSantis drafted legislation that would allow armed citizens to shoot and kill anyone they suspect of looting.20 Two state representatives in Ohio moved to increase penalties and create new categories for vandalism, wherein damage to government property or gravestones would carry a $15,000 fine and up to eight years in prison; the proposed legislation would also make blocking traffic during an unpermitted protest a third-degree felony and carry a maximum punishment of $10,000 and three years in prison and allow “a person who reasonably believes that the person is in danger of imminent bodily harm . . . [to be] justified in using or threatening to use reasonable force, including deadly force, to escape the aggravated riot or riot.”21 22 “Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are important cornerstones of our democracy,” said one of the sponsors.
Thieves stole nine mannequins wearing rare Nazi uniforms from a museum in the Netherlands.23 Following a government order, corporations in Switzerland will no longer be allowed to deduct bribes paid to individuals from their taxes.24 Bakers Delight apologized after airing a Christmas commercial that features two young girls bound with Christmas lights and gagged with lemon tarts.25 A 47-year-old Georgia woman who repeatedly claimed that she was an FBI agent to Chick-fil-A employees and threatened them with arrest if they didn’t serve her a free meal was charged with impersonating a public officer.26 As in 2015, 2017, and 2018, Forest and Bird’s Bird of the Year competition in New Zealand was marred by voter fraud.27—Adam Iscoe