Museum of America in the Pandemic Year, 2020

Pick a SPECIFIC date to explore

Tuesday, February 4

Feb 4: Trump delivers his State of the Union Address. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appears to tear up a copy of his speechThe Diamond Princess cruise ship is quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, with cases of the new coronavirus on board.  Senator Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee,  receives a briefing from intelligence officials about the coronavirus and the status of the global health emergency, including economic fallout. Chinese government officials admit that they have responded to the coronavirus with “shortcomings and deficiencies.”  Trump approval rating reaches record high at 49% of American saying the approve of the job Trump is doing. Trump awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. *

Without a doubt, a palpable shift has happened in the amount of attention we are paying to this virus. The cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, has been quarantined off the coast of Japan with growing cases of the new virus. But we are, perhaps understandably, caught up in other serious stories—trying to understand what happened at the Iowa Democratic Caucus last night is one. Two voting apps evidently crashed and no one know which Democratic candidate won. It will certainly serve as evidence for Trump’s continued argument that anything other than in-person paper ballots are vulnerable to tampering.  Greenland’s ice sheet is apparently melting seven times faster than it was in 1992 and holds enough water to raise global sea levels by twenty-four feet. And the trial of Harvey Weinstein, the film producer, continues. Finally, women are coming forward to talk about his sexual assaults and rapes. Weinstein, the TV broadcaster Charlie Rose, Lockhart Steele at Vox Media, the financier Jeffrey Epstein, lots of government representatives, and hundreds more have been brought to reckoning in the wake of the #metoo movement. 

It is high time that we face this. We have been talking and railing for years at the environmental devastation that we have wrought, at the sexism and racism that we teach our children even before they begin to walk. This Weinstein trial and the others like it, are something else, however. This is an action, a tangible, physical event that pulls Harvey Weinstein from the heights of his privilege and, more importantly, sends a clear message to everyone else that the rules have changed. This isn’t just a gesture of protest, not just a reflection of our confusion and pain still locked inside an old way of understanding the American dream. Maybe this can be a shift in the ground underneath us. Hope springs…

Read more

CBS News. Rush Limbaugh Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom at 2020 State of the Union Address, 2020.

*If the pdf thumbnails are not appearing, please reload the page.

WHO. “Novel Coronavirus(2019-NCoV) Situation Report – 15,” February 4, 2020.
Patel, Anita, and CDC. “Initial Public Health Response and Interim Clinical Guidance for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak — United States, December 31, 2019–February 4, 2020.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69 (February 4, 2020).
Social Media
Additional Links

* Timeline summaries at the top of the page come from a variety of sources:, including The American Journal of Managed Care COVID-19 Timeline (, the Just Security Group at the NYU School of Law (, the “10 Things,” daily entries from The Week (, as well as a variety of newspapers and television programs.