Museum of America in the Pandemic Year, 2020

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Dec 12: First trucks carrying Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are on the road. Pro-Trump protests in Washington D.C. turn violent.

Dec 13: Washington, D.C., police say that they are investigating vandalism that targeted two historic Black churches during Saturday clashes between supporters of Trump and counterprotesters.

Dec 14: The Electoral College meets to formally choose Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. Electors will cast their ballots in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, then send the results to Washington, D.C. Right-winged protestors gather.

From the Cutting Room Floor ...

Paradoxically, today is also a moment of great hope, as nurses and other healthcare workers received the first Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccines across the US.[1] Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York was among the first recipients, which was fitting given how hard hit this borough was back in March. Around 9:20am (ET), Dr. Michelle Chester, the corporate director of employee health services vaccinated Sandra Lindsay, an ICU nurse there. The fact that it was two African American women taking place in this historic moment only made the moment more potent. “I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time,” Lindsay said.[2]



[1] Alice Park, Jamie Ducharme, and W. J. Hennigan, “How the First COVID-19 Vaccinations Rolled Out at Hospitals Across the U.S.,” Time, December 14, 2020,

[2] Eric Levenson, “ICU Nurse in New York among the First People in the US to Get Authorized Coronavirus Vaccine,” CNN, December 14, 2020,


CDC, “December 11, 2020 ACIP Meeting – Welcome and COVID-19 vaccine,” December 17, 2020,

Joe Hanson, “Inside the Lab That Invented the COVID-19 Vaccine,” It’s Okay to be Smart, PBS, December 8, 2020,

Tom Costello, “First Covid Vaccine Given In U.S. As Distribution Begins,” NBC Nightly News, December 14, 2020,



Wilkins, Brett. “‘Hunger Like They’ve Never Seen It Before’: US Food Banks Struggle as 1 in 6 Families With Children Don’t Have Enough to Eat.” Common Dreams, November 27, 2020.

Benito, Marcelino. “‘It Can Get a Lot Worse’: Food Insecurity in Houston Growing Problem as COVID-19 Cases Climb.” KHOU 11, November 23, 2020.

“Impact of the Coronavirus on Food Insecurity.” Feeding America, April 22, 2020.

Foster, Sarah. “Survey: 42% Of U.S. Households Say Income Hasn’t Recovered From Initial Coronavirus Hit.” Bankrate, December 9, 2020.

“Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims (Week Ending 12/5/20).” Department of Labor, December 10, 2020.

THE WHO PANDEMIC PHASES. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2009.

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