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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Indiana’s LaGrange County repealed a law banning large-scale, multiday gatherings like Woodstock.

The COVID-19 death count in the United States surpassed 350,000.1 Although more than 14 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines have been delivered to U.S. states and territories, only an estimated 2.8 million people have been vaccinated so far.2 “[It’s] really a remarkable feat,” said General Gustave F. Perna, the head of Operation Warp Speed.3 “Everybody collectively should be very proud—the federal government, industry, academia, state and local governments, it has been a whole-of-America approach.” The West Virginia health department mistakenly administered an antibody treatment to 44 people rather than the Moderna vaccine; a Wisconsin pharmacist was arrested after he intentionally left out more than 500 doses of the vaccine to spoil; and a California nurse tested positive for COVID-19 after her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.4 5 6 The United Kingdom chose to distribute as many first doses of the vaccines as possible instead of reserving half for second doses, and changed its official rules to allow the mixing and matching of different vaccines, despite no evidence of such a plan’s efficacy.7 8 Boris Johnson announced his intention to remain prime minister, and a new poll indicated that Johnson would not be favored to win reelection because of the way he has handled Brexit and the pandemic.9 10 “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely fearful about his future,” said the British judge Vanessa Baraitser in her ruling against extraditing Julian Assange to the United States.11

In a recording that was later made public, Donald Trump, along with the White House chief of staff, two lawyers, and several allies, asked Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory there.12 “And they supposedly shredded, I think they said, three hundred pounds of, three thousand pounds of ballots,” said the president during the hour-long call.13 “And it is a very sad situation.” Ted Cruz, whose wife and father were publicly impugned by Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries, led a group of 11 Republican senators demanding a delay in the official Electoral College vote count in order to conduct a 10-day investigation of voter-fraud claims; the move has drawn support from the vice president as well.14 15 Squatters claiming ownership of 5,000-year-old ruins in Caral, Peru, made death threats to workers and to its chief archaeologist, who in 2002 was shot in the chest at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.16 17 Iran’s president and the commander of its Revolutionary Guard each reiterated vows of revenge for the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by an American drone strike, and in the following days the country seized a South Korean chemical tanker and reportedly increased production of enriched uranium.18 19 20 The USS Nimitz, a Navy aircraft carrier, was ordered to remain in the Middle East just days after it had been ordered to return home.21 “Just stay home,” said the Thai prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha, in response to rising cases of COVID-19.22

The pope lamented holiday travel.23 A new study of ancient human DNA revealed that two distinct waves of migration populated islands in the Caribbean.24 Indiana’s LaGrange County repealed a law banning large-scale, multiday gatherings like Woodstock.25 Scientists located a previously undiscovered group of blue whales in the Indian Ocean who have a unique song.26 wheres my money? was spray-painted on Mitch McConnell’s front door in Kentucky.27 “I’ve spent my career fighting for the First Amendment and defending peaceful protest,” said the Senate majority leader, who has blocked attempts to increase COVID-19 relief checks from $600 to $2,000. “This is different. Vandalism and the politics of fear have no place in our society.” It was reported that an inflatable holiday costume worn by an employee inside a California hospital may have spread COVID-19 to 44 people.28 The streets of Wuhan, China, were flooded with people celebrating the New Year.29Violet Lucca

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