What Happened in January 2021?


Pro-Trump Rioters Storm Capitol to Shut Down the Electoral College Vote Count

On January 6 a joint session of Congress was convened for the final Presidential vote count and certification when hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers and officers in full riot gear to storm the building.

Just before the proceedings began, Trump hosted a rally outside the White House where he repeatedly, and falsely, claimed the election had been stolen from him. Trump told the crowd to march to the Capitol Building to “stop the steal” of the election but did not join the mob. Trump supporters also gathered at state capitals across the country, with a few turning violent.

The President pressured Vice President Pence to reject State electoral votes. Pence publically disagreed Wednesday afternoon, after which Trump lashed out, saying in a Tweet that he “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.” Trumps Twitter account was frozen after he continued sending out messages that the election was stolen. Facebook and Instagram also froze his accounts used to spread lies and incite the violence. Twitter has since then indefinitely suspended trumps account. US election misinformation fell 73% a week after Trump’s social media ban. Zignal Labs said conversations fell from from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 across social media. Because “fake news” and hate speech are being moderated and removed from popular social media, many migrated to the new conservative social media platform Parler.

Rioters brought a noose and gallows and were heard chanting “Lynch Pence”. Others were seen smashing windows and occupying the House and Senate floors and various offices. Police were seen with guns drawn in the House chamber, pointing their firearms at windows that were smashed. Violent protesters were seen smashing windows and occupying the House and Senate floors and various offices. Flash bangs exploded near the steps of the Capitol and smoke filled the air as police were overrun. Officers used pepper spray while members of the mob beat them with American and confederate flags.

As the violence erupted, Trump finally made a video statement calling for the mob to go home and saying “you’re special, and we love you”.

The insurrection was the first time the US Capitol had been breached since the British attacked and burned the building in August of 1814, during the War of 1812. However, the confederate flag had never been flown in the nations capital.

Elsewhere in Washington DC, at least two suspected pipe bombs were rendered safe by law enforcement, including the one at the building that houses RNC offices and one in the US Capitol complex. Another bomb was sent to Democrat offices.

If Trump supporters could delay the certification of the Electorcal College until the 11th, then Congress could vote for President and Trump could win.

After hours of ransacking Congressional offices, breaking windows and vandalizing, order was restored and Congress continued counting the Electoral College votes, although with continued objections by Republicans. Eventually Joe Biden was declared President.

In the end, seven people died including one police officer who’s head was bashed in with a fire extinguisher. Two other police officers commited suicide following the riot. 70 rioters were arrested immediately, and the FBI is looking for 200 more who entered the capital building. Rioters, who proudly tagged their social media evidence with the hashtag #stopthesteal, were rounded up by the FBI across the country.

A week later the house of representatives impeached President Trump for the second time, this time on the charge of inciting insurrection. Meanwhile in Georgia, Democrats swept Georgia’s two U.S. Senate runoffs on Wednesday, meaning the Senate will be evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, while the house remains in Democrat control for Joe Biden’s administration.

25,000 Troops Deployed to Protect Capitol During Inauguration

Because several former US military members were present at the Capitol riot, including an Air Force veteran who was shot in the chest trying to force her way through a barricaded door, the FBI is vetting those troops called in to protect the capital during the inaguration.

The heightened security measures come after former and current members of law enforcement agencies and the military appear to have participated in the Capitol insurrection. A corporal in the Virginia National Guard was charged last week in federal court in connection with the violence, which has been linked to five deaths as well as widespread damage throughout the building. An Army reservist who federal investigators say has secret-level security clearance and a long record of posting his extremist views online was also arrested for his role in the riot.

The FBI warned law enforcement agencies that the person who constructed pipe bombs and left them near the Capitol on Jan. 6 has not yet been identified and is a “top priority” on the eve of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

At noon on inauguration day, the nuclear football with which Donald Trump can authorize a nuclear strike is deactivated. Vice President Pence’s football will transfer to Biden’s military detail. The other nuclear footballs accompany “designated survivors” at undisclosed locations during the inauguration.

In addition to 143 pardons and commutations, Trump also rescinded his own executive order prohibiting White House staff and politicial appointees from lobbying the government. Among those who received pardons were his former advisor Steve Bannon, rappers, and political allies. The vast majority of the pardons and commutations went to people serving lengthy sentences for low-level offenses.

Trump’s final words as President were, “Have a nice life, see you soon.”

President Donald J. Trump

Biden will sign 17 executive actions and orders in the first hours of his presidency on Wednesday. Among them are stopping funds for the Mexican border wall, stopping the XL pipeline carrying tar sand crude oil from Canada to Nebraska, reversing Trump’s immigration policies AKA “Muslim ban”, and rejoining the Paris Climate Accord.

Days later, new executive orders were signing giving low-income families and individuals efficient access to food security and assistance programs, as well as initiating federal contractors to pay workers a mandatory minimum wage of $15 per hour and offer emergency paid leave benefits. Biden’s other orders included extending the nationwide eviction ban and the pause on federal student loan payments.

Biden has also pledged to get 100 million Covid vaccines administered in the first 100 days, and is requiring wearing masks on Federal property. At the same time, the CDC issued stark warnings about a more infectious new variant of Covid-19, called B117. The variant has already forced England into a lockdown.

A week after swearing-in, Biden signed executive actions include establishing climate change as a national security priority, conserving at least 30% of federal land and oceans by 2030 and canceling new oil and gas leases on public lands and waters.

To add to January’s woes, a group of traders on Reddit’s WallStreetBets page have sent GameStop, AMC and other stocks skyrocketing. The trading group successfully triggered a short squeeze, where hedge fund managers who bet against GameStop have been forced to buy the stock back. That in turn has driven GameStop even higher, creating even more losses for short-sellers, and instability in the wider market. The enormous losses for hedge funds and other short-sellers spilled over into the broader markets the last week of January. The S&P 500 suffered its worst week since October — and some analysts at least partially blamed the Reddit-fueled mayhem.

Covid-19 News January 2021

A year after the first news of the virus trickled in from China and the first cases appeared in the US, Covid-19 has infected one hundred million and killed more than two million people worldwide. With about 4% of the world’s population, the US accounts for not quite one-quarter of all Covid cases. The percentage of Americans infected is nearly double other hard-hit countries like Brazil, France and Italy.

covid vaccine news

A handful of vaccines have been approved by various countries and the most vulnerable are being innoclated first. So far, China, India, Russia, the UK and the US have all developed Covid vaccines, with others being made by multinational teams – like the American-German Pfizer vaccine.

Experts say “herd immunity”, or vaccination of 70%+ of the US population, may occur by summertime. However, even as the first vaccines are administered, almost half the population says they won’t get it. Meanwhile, the virus is mutating and resurging in some areas.

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