Charlatan Magazine

Vaccines Start in United States

DECEMBER 14, 2020

The first Pfizer vaccine is administered in the United States today, and the Electoral College meets to ratify their vote on a pivotal and defining day for America.



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via NPR

Electors will gather in state capitols across the country today to formally vote for Joe Biden as the next U.S. president, effectively ending President Donald Trump’s contest to overturn the Nov. 3 election.

The Trump Campaign has levied claims of voter fraud in 6 states with 50 lawsuits. All were dismissed due to lack of evidence, leaving Trump with no recourse in the U.S. legal system to contest the vote. He then turned to state legislatures to continue that fight.

Trump proponents have pressed states to release electors that pledged for Joe Biden. Some 33 states prohibit faithless electors, and most other states void switched votes. There have been 165 faithless electors in US history, but this year the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the rights of state legislatures to reject the votes of faithless electors.

Once the Electoral College vote is complete, Trump’s sole remaining gambit will be to convince Congress not to certify the elector's vote on Jan. 6. Federal law allows individual lawmakers to challenge states’ electoral votes, which prompts both the House of Representatives and the Senate to debate the objections before voting on whether to sustain them.

Concession and Chaos in Washington

Several people were stabbed in Washington DC on Saturday night as protests continue for and in behalf of President Donald Trump. His refusal to accept the election result, and perhaps even the electoral collage's vote, has triggered discussion in Washington DC as to his removal from the White House when his term officially ends on January 20, 2021 at 12:00pm.

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The first Pfizer vaccine is administered in the United States today


The first shots in a massive U.S. COVID-19 vaccine campaign were administered today. Healthcare workers and elderly people in long-term care facilities are the first recipients of the first wave of 2.9 milmlion shots to be administered this month.

Doses of the vaccine from U.S.-based Pfizer and German partner BioNTech will be delivered to 145 locations around the country today, and the remaining 636 delivery locations, selected by U.S. states and territories, will receive doses on Tuesday and Wednesday. Within three weeks, the vaccine program known as Operation Warp Speed will deliver Pfizer’s shots to every healthcare facility in the country.

Distributing and administering the vaccine to as many as 330 million Americans poses a major logistical challenge. The vaccine has complex shipping requirements and must be stored at -70 Celsius. The United States on Friday evening granted an emergency use authorization for the vaccine for people aged 16 and older. The immunization was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 in a late-stage trial.

The United States stands behind the United Kingdom, Canada and three other countries that have already authorized and began administering the vaccine last week.

All the World's a Stage


Make sense of the week's news. Charlatan reviews the world's show & message.


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2020’s Vice Presidential Debate

During the Continental Congress — an incubus of 13 British Colonies that plotted to become Americans — Benjamin Franklin referred to the role of a Vice President as “His Superfluous Excellency.”

While most voters are stultified by a vice-presidential candidate, 2020's contest is piquing more interest. Former Vice President Joe Biden is 77, and after spending 47 years in public service (County Councilman, Senator, Vice President of the United States) arguably finds himself in the twilight of his life.

The incumbent, President Donald Trump, is now 74, and in addition to his 3.5 years of political experience, the self-proclaimed ‘Washington outsider’ has contracted the novel coronavirus one month ahead of an historic election. He joins the nearly 8 million Americans who’ve been diagnosed with the mysterious illness, over 217,000 of whom have perished, at a time and time when the United States is the global epicenter of the Coronavirus. The role of Vice President has simply never been more critical than in Election 2020.

Over 57 million people watched Wednesday's VP debate across eighteen channels on television, far more than either of the last two Vice Presidential debates, and internet streaming and radio brought the audience upwards of 100 million.

It was a boring, unfocused debate between two well-prepared and polished candidates who had little interest in answering the questions posed to them — and were under virtually no pressure from the moderator to do so. In other words, it was sort of how debates used to be: professional politicians who are mostly civil to each other making their points, occasionally skirting the rules, and frequently spinning the facts. There was a lot to critique, but the participants were bound by some shared sense of propriety.

Donald Trump will eventually leave the White House, and Wednesday’s VP debate offered the nation a glimpse of a post-Trump future. The restrained sparring between Pence and Harris was a reminder of what politics was once like — and could be again.

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Finally, a word from the Father of the Nation…

We citizens of America are, from this period, to be considered actors in a most conspicuous theater, which seems to be peculiarly designated by Providence for the display of human discourse, civility, and dignity. — George Washington, 1783

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