So much has happened over the past seven days that Monday’s Iowa Caucus feels like it was held months ago. This Friday we tackle caucus confusion and more in our recap of the week’s biggest news stories.
1. Trump’s big week
Pres. Trump faced a landmark week as he delivered the State of the Union address Tuesday followed by a final vote to acquit the president of impeachment charges Wednesday.
Pres. Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, largely touting the strong U.S. economy and making the case that America is, in fact, great again. The speech featured several notable moments, including the surprise reunion of a Fort Bragg soldier with his young family. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night, however, was when Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up Trump’s remarks at the conclusion of his speech– and the Internet’s response to this has not been disappointing.
A mere 24 hours later the U.S. Senate acquitted Pres. Trump— the third U.S. president to be impeached– on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The vote to acquit fell almost exactly along party lines, with Sen. Mitt Romney becoming the first senator in history to vote to remove a president of his own party from office.
2. Iowa Caucus confusion
The results of Monday’s Iowa Caucus remain un-callable in light of voting irregularities caused by a malfunction of the Shadow app used by precincts. The voting debacle, which has been compared to Florida’s “hanging chad” issue in the 2000 election, has evolved into a crisis for the Iowa and national Democratic parties. Tom Perez, Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has said “enough is enough” and called for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin a recanvass. New Hampshire, the next battleground primary state, is confident it will not repeat Iowa’s mistakes.
3. Coronavirus’ continued cost
The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe, and the Chinese scientist who initially warned of the virus– and was subsequently silenced by China’s Communist Party leaders– died from the disease this week. Many other new cases have been reported, including 41 cases on a now-quarantined cruise ship off of Japan, 8 of which are Americans. Here in the U.S. public health officials in Wisconsin have confirmed the 12th case of coronavirus in the country. The outbreak continues to evolve, and just how the U.S. handles recovery efforts could play into 2020 election results.
4. One health thing
North Carolina broke a state medical record and had the highest number of organ donations and transplants in 2019. According to Carolina Donor Services the state saw a 37 percent increase in organ donors and 32 percent increase in transplants compared to 2018. A patient is added every 10 minutes to the organ donation waiting list in the U.S., and just one donor can save up to eight lives.
5. One tech thing
Uber’s autonomous cars will be back on California roads as the ride-hailing tech firm gets the state’s OK to resume self-driving vehicle testing. This approval comes nearly two years after an autonomous vehicle fatally struck a pedestrian in Arizona. California currently permits 66 companies to test autonomous vehicles, but only Uber has been involved in a fatal crash. The company said its self-driving vehicle program “underwent an overhaul” following the incident.