The Coronavirus pandemic caused a health and financial crisis in America and caused the death of at least 340,000 people.
The year 2020 will go down as one of the most turbulent years in American politics. The year started off with President Donald Trump being acquitted by the U.S. Senate in an impeachment trial and ended with the Trump losing to Joe Biden in the Presidential election. Coronavirus pandemic that wreaked havoc all around the world, with America being one of the worst-affected countries. More than The year also laid bare the structural racism within the police force following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among many other African Americans. Here is a look back at some of the key moments from the past year.
January 22, 2020: The US public health officials confirmed that a 30-year-old man from Washington, returning from China, had tested positive for Coronavirus. Health officials begin screening people traveling in from Wuhan, China, to major airports such as California and New York, reported The Washington Post. By January 31, America recorded its first person-to-person transmission of the virus in the country. An Illinois woman who was diagnosed with Coronavirus had transmitted the disease to her husband, making it the first confirmed case, reported CNN.
February 6, 2020: After getting impeached by the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump was acquitted by the US Senate after Republicans backed the President against the two impeachment counts leveled against him — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It meant that Trump wasn't be removed from office. "It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars," said Trump after he was acquitted.
Trump declares Trump's handling of coronavirus a success, thanks Trump pic.twitter.com/dLMMFzHbro— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 4, 2020
February 29, 2020: Trump equated the contagious Coronavirus to the flu and even labeled it a hoax. "The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. One of my people came up to me and said: ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That did not work out too well. They could not do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. This is their new hoax,” said Donald Trump, according to The Guardian. As early as March, Trump declared the government's handling of the Coronavirus a success, before adding that the "virus is going to disappear. Like a miracle." As the year comes to a close, we can confirm the situation was never under control and Trump's administration and the President failed the people of America. Close to 350,000 people have died from Coronavirus in America, the highest death toll anywhere in the world.
While police brutality and systemic racism have always existed in the United States of America, 2020 proved to be a boiling point after the deaths of many African-Americans at the hand of police officers. It was the killings of George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor that stood out and sparked protests across all fifty states in the country. On May 25, Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis cop who pressed his knee on George Floyd's neck for over 8 minutes over the alleged use of a counterfeit currency. Floyd died of asphyxiation and the whole incident was caught on camera which highlighted the cops' disregard for human life. Breonna Taylor, a black EMT worker, was killed in the dead of the night by cops who fired 8 bullets into her on March 13. The cops had the wrong house.
The protests that broke out in the wake of George Floyd's death was a culmination of years of systemic racism, police brutality. With the protests pointing fingers at White supremacy, Trump branded the protests thugs and "Antifa," adding fuel to the fire. The President even used armed forces to quell the protests but to no avail. George Floyd's final words — "I Can't Breathe" — became a slogan for the protesters. Trump also had forces teargas priests and throw concussion grenades so Trump could get a photo-op in front of the St. John's Church. Protesters also tore down many statues across the country that celebrated slave-owners/traders, White supremacists, and secessionists including that of Some of the statues taken down include George Washington, Jefferson Davis, and Christopher Columbus.
Joe Biden accepted the Democratic nomination to be the party's Presidential candidate after Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race. The Democratic establishment, primarily Hillary Clinton and Obama, helped Biden gain the support of his fellow candidates including Pete Buttigieg. Biden called Donald Trump a failed President, as he labeled the 2020 Presidential elections a fight for America's soul. "Our current President has failed in his most basic duty to the nation. He has failed to protect us, he has failed to protect America," said Biden, reported CNN. Biden promised to make the Coronavirus pandemic a priority once he takes office.
While Trump constantly played down the virus and discredited Dr. Fauci, he arranged for a rally to kickstart his 2020 campaigning following the lockdown. Trump ignored CDC guidelines as he encouraged people to turn up in large numbers to his rally. The Trump campaign was completely ok with risking the lives of his supporters but protected the President legally by asking them to sign a waiver, absolving them of responsibility if they were to contract coronavirus at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The disclaimer states that "by attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Coronavirus and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. liable for any illness or injury," reported CNN. Herman Cain, a former Republican Presidential candidate, attended the rally without wearing a mask and subsequently died of Coronavirus.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away at 87. She was one of the more progressive voices in the US Supreme Court justice voted favorably on key issues such as abortion rights, same-sex marriage, voting rights, immigration, health care, and affirmative action. Trump and the Republicans replaced Ginsburg with a conservative judge in Amy Coney Barrett under highly controversial circumstances.
John Lewis was 80 when he passed away on July 17 from pancreatic cancer. He was one of the original speakers from the 1963 March on Washington and the last one to pass away. When 23-year-old John Lewis spoke at the nation's capital in 1963, he was the youngest speaker to do so and he was also the youngest of the "Big Six" leaders of the civil rights movement.
November 3, 2020: Joe Biden became the new President-elect of the United States after edging past incumbent Donald Trump in a closely contested election. Kamala Harris made history as she becomes the first woman and Black person to be Vice President-Elect of the United States. The Democratic Presidential nominee Biden, 77, flipped Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to crossing the required 270-mark. While Trump continues to make false claims about voter fraud, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President on January 21, 2021. With Coronavirus cases spiking in November and December, Biden will focus his attention on the health and financial crisis that's made 2020 a year to forget for Americans.