Throughout the course of 2020, the world has been rocked time and again. As 2021 approaches, let’s take a look at the tumultuous events that have defined a year like none other.
January 9, 2020: The World Health Organization announces a mysterious coronavirus pneumonia has broken out in Wuhan, China.
No discussion of 2020 would be complete without a mention of the coronavirus pandemic, which still rages as of press time. Nearly a year later, 67 million people worldwide have been infected, with numbers still growing. Fortunately for the global populace, several companies have vaccine is in the later stages of development, with Pfizer and Moderna leading the way.
February 5, 2020: US President Donald Trump is acquitted by the Senate.
In a vote divided along party lines, senators concluded the third impeachment trial in American history by acquitting the President on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote ended a process set in motion back in December 2019, when the House of Representatives formally began impeachment proceedings after investigating events surrounding the July 25, 2019 phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
May 25, 2020: George Floyd is murdered by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis.
The murder of Floyd, a Black man, by a White police officer sparked a storm of protests against police brutality and racial injustice across America that would continue throughout the summer. Additional waves of protests would follow the killing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin in August, and the verdict in the case of Breona Taylor in September.
September 18, 2020: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, sparking a battle over who will decide her replacement.
Despite the last request of the “Notorious RBG” and the objections of Senate Democrats, who wished to wait until after the 2020 election, Senate Republicans fast-tracked President Trump’s appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, to America’s highest court. Barrett’s nomination and subsequent confirmation tipped the Supreme Court to a conservative majority. Coney Barrett’s views as a Catholic also proved to be controversial, with opponents arguing that her faith would unfairly bias her judicial decisions.
November 7, 2020: The Associated Press calls the 2020 presidential race in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden.
At 11:25 a.m. EST on November 7th, the Associated Press declared Joe Biden the victor in Pennsylvania, with the state’s 20 electoral college votes pushing Biden past the 270 required to win the presidency. Even though the General Services Administration has formally recognized Biden as the President-elect, President Donald Trump has yet to publicly concede, with the Trump administration making baseless claims of widespread election fraud. Lawsuits filed in several states by the Trump team have been repeatedly thrown out due to lack of evidence, with the only successful recount petition occurring in Wisconsin. With the win, Biden’s running mate, California Senator Kamala Harris, is the first woman, African American, and Asian American to be elected Vice President.
Despite losing seats, Biden’s Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives. The Senate majority, however, rests on the outcome of the Georgia Senate runoff election between incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock.