Museum of America in the Pandemic Year, 2020

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Sep 17: Europe reports a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. A federal judge in Washington state blocks operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service. The judge sides with 14 states that accused President Trump and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy of trying to slow down deliveries to thwart mail-in voting. News comes out that a CDC recommendation on coronavirus testing was actually written by Health and Human Services Department officials, not CDC scientists. The guidance said it wasn’t necessary to test people exposed to the coronavirus who showed no COVID-19 symptoms. The administration said the recommendation came from the CDC, but the Times‘ sources said Trump administration officials rewrote it and posted it without the normal scientific review.  The Louisville, Kentucky, city council passes a “no confidence” resolution against Mayor Greg Fischer over his handling of the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, and protests that followed. 

Sep 18: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87. The CDC affirms, after much confusion, that people who are asymptomatic but have been in contact with COVID-positive people, should get tested. President Trump claims there will be 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine ready before the end of the year, and that he knows better than the experts.


Americans have become more politically divided in recent decades. Tony Dokoupil showed the same video clips to several people and found that what they saw coincided with their political leanings. CBS This Morning. How Americans View Events through a Partisan Lens. CBS This Morning, 2020.

Brigham, Bob. “Americans Are so Frightened by RBG’s Death That ‘No. No. No.’ Trended Nationwide on Twitter,” September 18, 2020.
Grunwald, Michael. “The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama.” Time, August 23, 2012.
Justice Ginsburg. Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (Ginsburg, J., dissenting), U.S. (U.S. Supreme Court 2007).
Mak, Aaron. “The Reasons Conservatives Say They Need to Replace RBG Before the Election.” Slate Magazine, September 19, 2020.
Newkirk II, Vann R. “Five Decades of White Backlash.” The Atlantic, January 15, 2018.
Smith, Steven. “The Senate Syndrome.” Issues in Governance Studies, no. 35 (June 2010): 132–58.
CBS News. “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion of Women’s Rights, Has Died at 87,” September 18, 2020.
Murphy, Tim. “A Long List of GOP Senators Who Promised Not to Confirm a Supreme Court Nominee during an Election Year.” Mother Jones, September 18, 2020.
NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS). “At Least Four Billion-Dollar Disasters Struck the U.S. in August.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), September 17, 2020.
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Additional Links
  • Hersh, Eitan. Politics Is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change. New York: Scribner, 2020.