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The Russian hack “ happened on Donald Trump’s watch when he wasn’t looking, ” Biden says.

Mr Biden said he plans to present to Congress in the new year a plan that would include more funding to help firefighters, police and nurses, as well as to expand testing. He said his bill would include a new round of stimulus checks for Americans, but he said that amount would be a matter of negotiation.

Its goal, he said, was to have the money to distribute the vaccine to 300 million people, to provide aid to Americans whose businesses have been closed because of the virus, and to set up a moratorium on evictions.

“People are in desperate pain,” he says. Ahead of Christmas and the potential rallies that could lead to more spikes in virus cases, Mr Biden also warned Americans that “our darkest days are ahead of us, not behind us.”

Mr. Trump intends to sign the fundraising bill. But he has otherwise chosen to play a minor role in the midst of a major national crisis – consumed by conspiracy theories of electoral fraud at a time when the daily toll of the pandemic has steadily exceeded the number of Americans killed in the country. attack on Pearl Harbor.

On Tuesday, he sparked a familiar shootout of false claims about the 2020 election on Twitter, interrupted by virus message – a boast about “the great miracle of what the Trump administration has accomplished” on vaccines.

Mr Biden, in a gesture that illustrated the stark differences between the two men, praised White House-led Operation Warp Speed ​​on Monday for accelerating vaccine development – while being vaccinated, under a mask, on live television, to allay concerns about vaccine safety.

Mr Biden has not negotiated directly with lawmakers on the stimulus, but he has been briefed on all developments, and his new chief of staff Ron Klain has been kept up to date on hour-by-hour developments in the talks, according to Democratic officials. familiar with the situation.

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What happened in 2020 will not stay in 2020

Long after the final vote, long after the electorate’s verdict was clear, a curious thing began to happen recently in the spatio-temporal perplexity of Trump-era politics: Finally, it began to happen. feel like the election could be over, really and really.

The 2016 election.

Such a closure has never been acquired. For the remainder of President Trump’s tenure, that first contest hovered, like a ghost the size of James Comey, over every inch of the proceedings – with the incumbent recounting his triumph on every opportunity, investigators scouring the campaign that brought him down. brought there, the Democrats organizing their resistance (and constant internal bickering) around the question of how they managed to lose in the first place.

Most of those questions have faded. New, dark questions have replaced them.

What if 2020 – miserable and endless 2020 – was doomed to become the new election season that will not end? What if the unsubscribing of revisits and recriminations after 2016 was not a one-off event but a precedent?

Of course, any electoral cycle is important, its ramifications felt (and its particularities often re-examined) for the years to come. But political races are not meant to be unlimited in a successful democracy. “Four more years” is generally understood as a song about governance and not as a campaign relocation.

Official finality benchmarks, like President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s assertion of victory this week in the Electoral College, are both essential and insufficient to move the country forward.

Many data points were not encouraging. Mr Trump has led much of his party to an unfounded and dangerous deadlock to reverse his loss, making it clear that for this president there are two types of elections: the ones he wins (and which he talks about constantly ) and those allegedly rigged. against him (which he talks about constantly).

In this regard, those who are weary of Mr. Trump fear that the 2020 election may indeed end only one way.

“When Donald Trump decides to leave,” said Carly Fiorina, who ran against him in the 2016 Republican primary and strongly opposed his efforts to reverse the vote. “And I don’t think he’s considering leaving.

The other vestiges of 2020 are not either.

The tensions exposed in the Democratic primary, when progressives challenged Mr Biden of the left, seem doomed to overshadow his tenure, if complaints about some of his cabinet choices are instructive. (Many supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, among others, still wish their preferred candidate won the White House instead.)

After a fall campaign filled with Republican accusations against Mr Biden’s son Hunter, a federal investigation into the tax affairs of young Mr Biden will likely loom at least early in the new administration.

And from a practical standpoint, the last major front of the 2020 vote has already been pushed back to 2021, with two Senate rounds in Georgia early next month to determine control of the chamber.

Even those on the winning side at the top of the November poll were reluctant to move on, reluctant to abandon the five-alarm urgency with which they approached the Trump presidency every day.

“Why are we still working?” Jess Morales Rocketto, progressive strategist and assistant to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, questioned aloud before responding. “In an election year, historic protests, a pandemic – for people who do this as their job, I think it’s almost like, ‘If we stop working, what would happen? Could it get worse? It couldn’t be worse. Please don’t let it get worse. ”

In previous campaigns, Ms. Morales Rocketto said, politicians have toughened themselves up during the fall by repeating a common emotional balm: at least we’ll have a break when it’s over.

“In 2020,” she said, “I think people have stopped saying this.

Yet while the current sense of democratic oscillation – with several million voters poised to linger on a 2020 result they see as illegitimate – seems unlikely to abate in a matter of weeks, there are also There is reason to doubt that Mr. Trump will be able to maintain his current level of ubiquity once out of the office.

The pomp and platform of tenure cannot be replicated. Time is passing. And while Mr. Trump may well use the coming months to tease a possible 2024 campaign as he denounces the phantom injustice of his 2020 defeat, perhaps some potential rivals in the next Republican primary will eventually show less. deference if the alternative waits. until 2028 for a shot at the presidency.

Many in the party suspect there will be an ongoing following for whatever Mr. Trump has in mind, even though what he mostly has in mind is playing the 2020 hits.

“He’s going to be the freshman hanging out in the high school parking lot over winter break, wanting to recreate the magic,” said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist who worked on Jeb Bush’s candidacy in 2016 and the 2018 House elections. “And the students are going to want to come hang out with him.”

The persistence of the pandemic also appears likely to fuel a sense of persistence, hanging Americans in the grip of 2020’s darkest feature.

It is not lost on veterans of this presidential campaign, as defined by the coronavirus, that the electoral college codified Mr. Biden’s victory the same week that vaccinations began in the United States. Perhaps a return to relative normal will prove the true coda of the year, whenever it happens.

In the meantime, the next procedural step will come on January 6, when Congress meets to ratify the voter count. Four years ago, Mr Biden presided over the session as vice president, hammering a hammer with impunity and brushing aside the largely symbolic objections of a handful of Democratic lawmakers who hoped to deny the reality of 2016.

“It’s over,” Biden said at one point, drawing Republican applause.

It was and it was not. But it now seems, for better or for worse, supplanted by new anguish and grudges. And how long could it really last?

“I can’t wait for 2020 to come to an end,” said Mr. Gorman, “in early 2025.”

Travel News

“ It happened to the full circle ”


When Helen Cordova got the call from her manager on Sunday, she knew she would be among the first at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center to receive a coveted dose of the vaccine.

But it wasn’t until she showed up on Monday to work at the massive East Hollywood hospital complex and was told the governor was on his way that she realized she would be playing a role. unique in the history of California.

“I’m always like, ‘Did this really happen?’” Ms. Cordova, 32, told me Tuesday. “The whole day has been a little blurry.”

[How full are intensive care units at hospitals near you? Explore this map.]

Ms Cordova was the first person in California to receive a vaccine, hours after the doses landed in Los Angeles, state officials said.

She was one of five staff at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles to be vaccinated, chosen because they represented a range of frontline jobs, as well as the diversity of people who perform them, officials said. ‘hospital.

“It was important to us,” Kaiser Permanente spokesperson Jenna Watkinson said on Tuesday.

The group included Ms. Cordova; Kim Taylor, emergency room nurse; Dr Brian Thompson, also from the emergency department; Angela Balam, responsible for the hospital’s Covid-19 cleaning protocols; and Raul Aguilar, a respiratory therapist.

But Ms Cordova was chosen to be the first, Ms Watkinson said, as she was part of the team that treated the first Covid-19 patient admitted to hospital.

So while the state is still in the midst of the pandemic’s deadliest wave, Ms Cordova said she is embracing the moment.

“The circle was complete,” she said. “I have high hopes for our future. I have high hopes for our community. “

On Tuesday afternoon, she said she had had no side effects other than a little pain at the injection site.

Ms Cordova said that for months her biggest fear was bringing the virus home to her mother, with whom she lives in the San Fernando Valley and whose medical history inspired her to become a nurse.

[Track coronavirus cases across the state.]

In the early months of the pandemic, she would ask her mother to open a side door of the house “and walk away”, to allow Ms Cordova to take a second shower after her shift. She cleaned her shoes outside and sprayed them with bleach.

More recently, she says, she has become more confident in her protective gear – the wearing of which “has become innate.” And she always wears a mask at home.

But she also focused more on her mental health as the pandemic continued. A typical workday, she said, starts at 5:10 a.m. with a 15-minute exercise video on YouTube.

“I adopted this practice last month,” she said. “Just to wake up and get ready for the day.”

She will leave home after 6 a.m., have a coffee, then work from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Ms. Cordova has, over the months, learned the grim rhythms of an intensive care unit during a pandemic. She can guess which patients will end up on a breathing tube and can discern “the hopelessness in their eyes” when patients have trouble getting enough oxygen.

[If you missed it, here’s how the vaccine will be distributed in California.]

“It’s really hard to put everything into words,” she says. “It’s a very real disease – these pictures of inside hospitals are very precise.”

Ms Cordova said she found the support of her “work team” – her best friends. They express themselves in their group discussion about things that only they can understand. She finds comfort in listening to music.

And now, she says, she takes comfort in knowing that “her body is developing protection.”

She will have her second photo on January 4.

When I asked Ms Cordova what she wanted her fellow Californians to know as we move towards what the leaders have repeatedly said to be the home stretch, she said, “I can’t stress enough. on the power of social distancing, the power to wear your mask. “

She said these measures not only help healthcare workers – who are exhausted and exhausted – but they also serve as goodwill gestures.

“We feel seen,” she said. “And feel respected.”

(This article is part of California today newsletter. Register to have it delivered to your inbox.)

Read more:

  • Even in the midst of good news, the state has ordered more body bags and deployed additional refrigerated storage space for mortuaries as California gears up for a few tough weeks. [The New York Times]

  • Los Angeles officials among those pushing for teachers to prioritize for vaccines. But given the limited number of vaccines, experts said vaccinating teachers could be a slow process, lasting well into the spring. [The New York Times]

  • A “field hospital” is in preparation to help take patients in the Fresno area. [The Fresno Bee]

  • “There is still a lot of hesitation, not only from our staff but from the general public.” Kern County employers are already sailing in skepticism on vaccines. [The Bakersfield Californian]

  • Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued Amazon in an attempt to make it comply with a Covid-19 state security investigation. [CalMatters]

Learn more about how warehouse workers helped fuel the rise of e-commerce giants in the pandemic and were put at risk in the process. [The New York Times]

  • A list of Orange County bars and restaurants openly defy state stay-at-home order had risen to 63 by the weekend. [The Orange County Register]

  • Hotels and vacation rentals in the state are meant to be open only to essential travelers. But if your reservation is canceled, some rental services do not require hosts to refund your money. [The New York Times]

[Read about restrictions in place. ]

  • To reduce emissions to zero, the United States would need to build green energy infrastructure at almost unfathomable speed. [The New York Times]

  • Mary D. Nichols, California’s Best Clean Air Regulator for Years, was President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s top candidate to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Now his team is scrambling to find someone else after a group of more than 70 environmental justice groups wrote a letter criticizing their record in tackling environmental racism. [The New York Times]

It is a facet of the struggle of the new Biden administration to manage the factions of the Democratic Party. [The New York Times]

  • “In her defense, Feinstein had to fight for everything she got.” Senator Dianne Feinstein’s recent missteps raise painful questions on age and seniority in the Senate. [The New Yorker]

  • Representative Doug LaMalfa faces pushback voters for his support for the ill-fated Texas trial contesting the presidential election results. [Chico Enterprise-Record]

Catch up with the trial, which was dismissed by the Supreme Court. [The New York Times]

This holiday season is a defining moment for many independent bookstores like City Lights. [The Los Angeles Times]

California Today goes live at 6:30 a.m. PT on weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: Have you been forwarded this email? Sign up for California Today here and read each edition online here.

Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow us here or on Twitter.

California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.

Travel News

Vacation in the event of a pandemic? Here’s what happened in 1918

Shortly before Christmas, as the pandemic wreaked havoc in the Iowa countryside, Rebecca Tinti was visiting neighbors who had fallen ill.

On the family’s farm, she found seven, including a newborn baby, bedridden by the disease, leaving a 6-year-old girl to take care of everyone.

Ms. Tinti stepped in to help, but she could not avoid the tragedy. “The gentleman had waited for the rest until he relapsed and continued to worsen, until he died a week later,” she wrote in a letter dated January 1919. “I stayed until the funeral, which was Christmas Eve. . “

Ms Tinti’s letters are now in the hands of the daughter of her goddaughter Ruth M. Lux, 72, of Lidderdale, Iowa. Ms. Lux has dozens of old family letters, which were passed down through her mother and grandmother. “I call my home the Lidderdale branch of the National Archives,” she said.

These letters – updates on corn crops and slaughtered pigs, interspersed with reports of illness and death – are dispatches from the national front of the so-called Spanish Flu, a pandemic in which millions of Americans have been sick and 675,000 died, among at least 50 million dead worldwide.

This pandemic, like the coronavirus today, seemed to be spreading across the United States in waves. The winter holidays of 1918 were marked by serious losses. They came during a relative lull after the deadliest wave, in the fall. Another, smaller increase would peak shortly after New Year’s Day.

But the national conversation around private family gatherings seemed to have been less busy in 1918 than it is today, as many people tired of months of restrictions bristle at health agency advice on staying at home.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have lost loved ones,” said J. Alexander Navarro, medical historian at the University of Michigan and editor of the Online Influenza Encyclopedia. “But by the time of Thanksgiving, there really wasn’t much debate about whether or not to get together.”

They did, often with an empty chair at the table.

At the time, another major event was stealing the headlines: the end of the First World War. The soldiers were returning home and the Allied victory was a cause for celebration.

“This year we have a special and moving cause to be thankful for and rejoice in,” President Woodrow Wilson said in a Thanksgiving proclamation, which did not mention the pandemic. “God has given us peace in His good pleasure.”

And although the soldiers’ domestic and international trips played a major role in the spread of the flu, reports from the time suggest the risk of infection did not stop people from celebrating the Allied victory in person. .

On Christmas Eve 1918, the New York Times reported that thousands of soldiers would be welcomed into homes in New York City and invited to attend dances and parties. At an event at the 71st Regiment Armory on Park Avenue in Manhattan, “In addition to the fun and dancing, there will be 300 pounds of chocolate fondant made by pretty girls and so many pounds of frozen cake, mostly made by their mothers ”. says the report.

Other celebrations were more discreet. For many people in the United States, the Christmas vacation was centered around the home, said Penne L. Restad, historian at the University of Texas at Austin, who specializes in vacations.

Vacation travel was less common in 1918 than today, in part because families tended to live more closely together, Dr Restad said. The practice of dragging an evergreen tree indoors to decorate it was all the rage. Just like the gifts for the children, delivered by Santa Claus.

For many, church services were also part of the holiday season. And in 1918, Ms Lux’s great-grandmother, Caroline Schumacher, was sad to miss them.

“I guess you saw the city being quarantined,” she said in a letter from Carroll, Iowa, dated Dec. 29. “I don’t know how long it will be closed. It’s terrible when there is no church. It didn’t look like Christmas at all.

Because personal letters relayed details of everyday life, they sometimes retained bits of history that newspapers ignored, Dr Restad said. “Home culture, and to a large extent consumer culture, is often recorded by women,” she added.

Letters from Ms Lux’s family, some of which are difficult to read due to fine handwriting or irregular spelling and grammar, were transcribed in 2014 by Julia Evans, who was then studying history at the Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and now operates museum exhibits.

Newspapers have covered the pandemic as well, and reports from across the United States have shown a patchwork of responses from authorities to the spread of the flu.

In Hamilton, MT, the Ravalli Republican reported that a multi-month city-wide shutdown was lifted in late December 1918 – just in time for churches and cinemas to open on Christmas Day.

In Lodi, Calif., “Due to the flu here, Christmas celebrations have been drastically reduced, although merchants are reporting great holiday deals,” The Sacramento Bee reported on Christmas Eve. “There will be no municipal tree this year.”

And shortly after Christmas, the Chicago Defender published reports of families who had gathered for family visits or church services across Illinois. The reports were interspersed with notices of people who had fallen ill or had died from the flu.

This year, as coronavirus cases increase and healthcare professionals brace for an upsurge in infections associated with vacation travel, Ms Lux plans to stay home alone over Christmas. But letters from his family from a century ago spoke of gatherings and grave excavations.

“I have been busy for three weeks doing neighbor chores and burying the dead,” wrote a relative, John Tinti, in February 1919. “I have helped lay off more people this winter than ever in my life. life. It was really horrible.

Margaret Hamilton, another relative, wrote that she almost died herself. “My heart almost refused to work and my lips and nails were purplish black,” she said in a letter from March 1919. “Sure, almost passed.

Ms Lux was very impressed with Rebecca Tinti, the great-godmother whose letters recounted several trips to care for seriously ill friends and neighbors. “This lady was literally the Florence Nightingale of Adair County,” Ms. Lux said.

So, on a blustery day in April – the same month the worldwide death toll from the coronavirus topped 200,000 – Ms Lux drove about 60 miles from Lidderdale to Casey, Iowa, to see where Ms Tinti was. was buried almost 90 years ago.

The grave was easy to find, in a small cemetery on top of a hill. “I thought to myself, ‘No one has put anything on these graves for decades and decades,’ Ms. Lux said.

She put down a bouquet of silk flowers before going home.

Travel News

What Happened in Every Key Senate Race

Since Joseph R. Biden Jr. was declared the winner of the presidential ballot, the counting and reporting of the votes in states across the country has continued and is helping to clarify what the Senate will look like in 2021.

Democrats didn’t get the kind of blue wave they hoped for, and their avenues to overthrow the Senate have diminished dramatically. In an election cycle in which President Trump ran much closer to Mr. Biden than many polls had predicted, Republicans appear poised to retain all but two of the dozen seats that the we thought they were competitive – and they reversed a seat. owned by a Democrat.

Two critical Senate races in Georgia head towards a second round, a third race in Alaska, where the Republican candidate is significantly ahead, and a fourth race in North Carolina where the Democratic challenger has conceded, have yet to be officially called. The Alaska Senate race is likely to end up in the Republicans ‘column, it seems the Democrats’ only path to a Senate majority will require winning both Georgia Senate seats.

Here’s a quick recap of what happened in Senate races across the country.

As Election Day dawned, Republicans held a three-seat advantage over Democrats in the Senate. This meant that in order for Democrats to take control of the chamber in 2021, they had to reverse at least three seats – and most likely four – assuming they also won the White House.

If the Democrats won three seats, then Kamala Harris, as vice president, would be able to break a 50-50 tie in the Senate. But Alabama Democrat Sen. Doug Jones was expected to lose his run in the Deep Red State, realistically most Democrats expected to have to overthrow a fourth Republican seat.

In this scenario, Democrats also had to defend the other 11 seats held by incumbent Democrats that were up for grabs this round, including one in the battlefield state of Michigan.

Democrats reversed two seats, in Arizona and Colorado, and Republicans reversed one, Mr. Jones’. That leaves Democrats, at least for now, with a net win of just one seat – nowhere near what they needed.

On Tuesday, Republicans won 49 seats in the next Senate, and Democrats, combined with the two independent senators who meet with them, took 48.

The two races in Georgia are both headed for a runoff on January 5 as neither candidate got 50% of the vote, the threshold under Georgian law for outright winning. If a Republican wins either race in the traditionally conservative state, the party will retain control of the Senate.

Democrats retained the other 11 seats they defended, including in Michigan, where incumbent Democratic Congressman Gary Peters narrowly dominated.

Here’s a state-by-state rundown of the Senate races that have taken place.

Mr Jones won his Senate seat in a deeply red state after winning a special election in 2017 against Roy S. Moore, a Republican accused of sexual misconduct.

As expected, Mr Jones lost from a distance to Tommy Tuberville, a Republican and former college football coach who aligned himself with Mr Trump.

As the polls had predicted, Mark Kelly, a retired former astronaut and sea captain, defeated Republican incumbent Senator Martha McSally in Arizona. Mr Kelly has built a national profile as an advocate for gun safety after his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was seriously injured in a 2011 mass shooting. is presented as a pragmatic outsider and leaned hard on his biography on the electoral trail.

It was a second defeat for Ms McSally, who failed in her first Senate bid in 2018, but was later appointed by Governor Doug Ducey to the seat vacated by the death of Senator John McCain.

The polls were just as accurate in predicting that former Governor John Hickenlooper would beat Sen. Cory Gardner in Colorado. Mr Hickenlooper, who failed the Democratic presidential nomination in 2019, defeated Mr Gardner by around nine percentage points in a state that leans increasingly to the left and which preferred Mr Biden over M Trump. .

Although Iowa, Montana and South Carolina have all traditionally leaned to the right, polls had shown close Senate races in those states, and the Cook Political Report had rated each to a draw. But on Election Day, Republicans easily won every race.

In Iowa, Senator Joni Ernst, the outgoing Republican, sent out Theresa Greenfield, her Democratic challenger, by 6.6 percentage points. In Montana, Senator Steve Daines, the outgoing Republican, won more than 10 percentage points against Steve Bullock, the two-term Democratic governor of Montana.

And in South Carolina, Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, survived a challenge from Jaime Harrison, a former chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, winning by 10.3 percentage points.

Perhaps no Senate race outcome has been as confusing for Democrats as that in Maine, where outgoing Republican Senator Susan Collins ousted her Democratic challenger, Sara Gideon.

The race was one of the toughest in Ms. Collins’ career. She faced extraordinary sums of Democratic money and anger over her decision to uphold then-judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and the polls followed her with Ms Gideon, a formidable opponent who is the president of the Maison du Maine, for much of the race.

But it didn’t end up getting that close: On Tuesday, Ms Collins’ margin of victory over Ms Gideon was almost 8 percentage points.

Democrats were also deeply disappointed with the outcome of the North Carolina Senate race, where Senator Thom Tillis, a first-term Republican, appeared to have narrowly edged his Democratic opponent, Cal Cunningham, a former state senator and army reserve officer, who conceded the race on Tuesday. Although there was no official call, Edison Research reported that Mr. Tillis was leading the race with just under 100,000 votes.

Like Ms. Gideon in Maine, Mr. Cunningham had a lead in the polls before election day. The race ended with two important developments: Mr Tillis contracted the coronavirus and Mr Cunningham got mired in a scandal over romantic messages he sent to a woman who is not his wife. While the effect of these developments on voters was not immediately clear, if any, Mr. Trump also held a significant lead in North Carolina, which could have helped support Mr. Tillis.

There have been two Senate races that took place in Georgia, both scheduled to end in January.

One of the races involved Senator David Perdue, a first-term Republican, trying to sideline Jon Ossoff, the Democratic nominee. Mr Perdue’s share of the vote fell below 50% last week as more ballots were counted, forcing a showdown in January.

In the other race, Reverend Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, and Senator Kelly Loeffler, the incumbent Republican, finished first and second in a special election that brought together 20 candidates. Neither got 50% of the vote, and so, like Mr. Perdue and Mr. Ossoff, they will now face each other on January 5.

The pair of contests will most likely determine which party controls the Senate.

Travel News

Georgia, once a reliable red color, is suddenly a battleground. What happened?

WATKINSVILLE, Georgia – For years, State House District 119 was a secure Republican seat in the Georgia Legislature, having been carved out of conservative suburbs along the south side of liberal, university town Athens, to maximize Republican votes. This year Jonathan Wallace, a Democrat, could win it.

In fact, Mr. Wallace has already: In 2017, he won the seat of northeast Georgia in the shock of a special election, only to lose it a year later to a Republican challenger.

Before all this dramatic back-and-forth – before Mr. Wallace, 42, a software developer, decided to go into politics after Donald J. Trump’s victory in 2016 – Democrats hadn’t even given themselves the penalty to present candidates in the district. But these days, a lot of what was once settled in Georgia suddenly seems to be up for grabs. The Peach State, a Republican stronghold for nearly two decades, is growing rapidly and changing profoundly, giving Democrats high hopes for 2020.

With just one week before the Nov. 3 election, polls show Mr. Trump, who won Georgia by five points in 2016, has forged a virtual bond with his Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., who plans to stand down. make it into the state. Tuesday.

At the same time, two well-funded Democratic candidates, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, are running competitive races for the two seats in the state Senate. Rep. Lucy McBath, Democrat, is favored to win re-election to her suburban Atlanta House seat against Karen Handel, whom she defeated in 2018. The suburban Atlanta House seat from a Republican to the retirement should go to the Democrats.

Some Democrats even dream of capturing the State House.

This is all happening in an exploding state of diversity, whose new politics are defined by young voters, suburban women alienated by President Trump and minorities energized by Stacey Abrams and her near absence in 2018 to become the first woman. African-American governor of the country. .

Georgia’s Democrats – bitten in the past by premature talks about a fishing state realignment – are careful to temper their optimism. The Republican Party remains well organized, popular and powerful here. Republicans occupy all elected offices statewide, control both houses of the state legislature, continue to hold a majority among college-educated white voters, and maintain dominance in rural counties.

Jason Carter, the grandson of President Jimmy Carter and a Democrat who was largely defeated in the 2014 gubernatorial race, joked: “Frankly, I think it would be impossible for Trump to win – and I didn’t. haven’t been so confident since 2016, ”When Hillary Clinton’s campaign dared to dream of a Georgia victory.

Yet there is a bipartisan consensus that the state is not exactly what it was, even just a few years ago. Its population grew from 7.9 million to 10.6 million from 2000 to 2019, and its foreign-born population now exceeds 10%. While Republicans remain formidable in rural areas, an accurate portrayal of 21st century Georgia should include not only peach and peanut farms, but also Your DeKalb Farmers Market, a global food bazaar in suburban Atlanta. made up of workers from 40 countries which attracts both immigrants and bourgeois-born gypsies in the country.

Keep up with Election 2020

And while Mr. Trump leads Mr. Biden by 12 percentage points among white college graduates, that is a significant drop from 2016, when he won the same group by 20 percentage points.

“There has been so much migration from the north and other parts of the country,” said Eric J. Tanenblatt, global president of public policy and regulation at Dentons, a law firm, and former chief of staff. from former Governor Sonny. Perdue, a Republican and now Mr. Trump’s agriculture secretary. “And so you start to see a shift in the suburbs more towards Democrats.”

Charles S. Bullock III, a political scientist at the University of Georgia, places his state in a category with Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida and Texas which he calls the “South of Growth,” for opposition to the “stagnant South”. represented by states like Mississippi and Arkansas. He argues that this may be a better way to think about the evolution of the region, and the growing strength of Democrats in parts of it, than the old dichotomy between the “Deep South” and “Rim South” states. “.

Growth South states, he said, “attract a diverse racial and ethnic population. More and more Hispanics are settling there, as well as a variety of Asians – Koreans, Indians, Chinese. These groups are all more democratic than not. “

Dr Bullock noted that in 1996, when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole defeated South Bill Clinton’s saxophone son in Georgia, about 77% of people who voted in Georgia were Caucasian.

In the 2018 governor’s race, he said, that number was around 60%.

As demographics have changed, Georgia politics have also been transformed by the stories of two recent Republican winners – Mr. Trump and Governor Brian Kemp – and two Democratic losers, Mr. Ossoff and Ms. Abrams.

Although Mr. Trump won Georgia in 2016, he lost to Ms. Clinton in the Atlanta suburb of Cobb and Gwinnett counties, which for years had been crucial and reliable bases of Republican support. A year later, Mr Ossoff launched a high-profile but unsuccessful campaign to take a House seat in some of those same suburbs, garnering support from female college graduates who have come out of the shadows to create new ones. powerful volunteer networks. Ms. McBath won the 2018 wave election seat.

The 2017 Ossoff race “flipped a switch – we were in the dark and we suddenly saw each other,” said State Senator Jen Jordan, a lawyer who entered politics that year , winning a seat formerly held by Republicans in Atlanta.

The following year, Ms Abrams, a former leader of the minority in the State House, electrified Democrats with a run that gave the party a new plan to capitalize on the shifting electorate. Four years earlier, Mr. Carter, an Atlanta lawyer, had strived, with centrist politics and a pair of cowboy boots, to win back part of the white working class and rural southerners who had at over decades abandoned the Democratic Party.

Instead, Ms Abrams focused on training minority and intermittent voters, while embracing a shameless liberal platform.

She was narrowly beaten by Mr. Kemp, a white, sluggish, deep-voice native of Georgia, an agriculture graduate who loved to talk about football, his guns and how he personally rounds up ‘illegal criminals’ in his van.

Her victory underscored the lasting power of rural voters, but Ms Abrams lost just 55,000 of the four million votes cast, and she said Mr Kemp, who had also overseen the election as Secretary of State, had engaged in the suppression of voters.

Echoes of the Ossoff and Abrams races resonate in 2020.

The New Georgia Project, a non-profit organization founded by Ms. Abrams to boost voter registration for minorities and youth, has recruited thousands of new voters, said Nse Ufot, the group’s chief executive, including in streets of Atlanta as protests raged against police. murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Rayshard Brooks, a black man in Atlanta.

“Georgia’s 2020 youth registration numbers blow previous election cycles out of the water – and 2018 has been a highlight for us,” Ms. Ufot said. According to a study by Tufts University, the percentage of Georgians aged 18 to 24 registered to vote last month was 34% higher than in November 2016 – the biggest gain in the country.

Pallavi Purkayastha, a political strategist from Johns Creek, a suburb of Atlanta, led a successful campaign in 2018 for State Representative Angelika Kausche, a German immigrant and Democrat who reversed a Republican seat after running on a pledge to fund public education and expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

This year, Ms Purkayastha said her candidates were aided not only by changing demographics but also by escalating Republican Party conservatism.

“Republicans, alone without any provocation, are moving more and more to the extreme right,” she said.

She mentioned the policies of Mr Kemp, who signed a ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill to restrict abortions last year, and allowed businesses to open early in the Covid-19 crisis. , a move that even Mr. Trump criticized.

Although the Republican message remains popular in the countryside, the party is likely to be faced, this year or in the future, if it fails to find a way to reconnect in the suburbs, where population growth is more. robust than in rural areas.

Georgia, still the same as ever, lives in places like rural Crawford County near Macon where population growth has stagnated, the foreign-born population hovers around 1% and Mr. Trump has easily gained in 2016. Robert L. Dickey, III, a Republican representative and state veteran, runs unopposed this year in Crawford County.

But even Mr. Dickey, who runs a family fishing farm founded under the McKinley administration, knows Georgia has changed and Republicans have struggled to keep up. “I don’t think the Republicans sent messages as well as they could,” he said.

One way or another, during Trump’s day, he said, Republican history became too crowded with “personalities.” To win over newcomers, he said, Republicans must go back to basics with a low-tax, business-friendly message. Whatever the outcome of the 2020 election, it seems unlikely that even the best Republican message could stand in the way of Georgia’s rapid demographic changes – and their profound implications for its policy.

Travel News

Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

A worrying sign of the strength of the latest wave of coronavirus, hospitals in the United States and Europe are reaching capacity at a rapid rate.

In Idaho, a 99% full hospital has warned it may have to transfer Covid-19 patients out of state. Medical centers in Missouri and North Dakota have turned away patients in recent days because they have no room. In Poland, the government converted the country’s largest stadium into a temporary field hospital with capacity for 500 patients. Hospitals in France have started to postpone elective surgeries, while others have recalled staff on leave.

More than 40,000 people are currently hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States, a number that rose 40% last month. In Europe, the rate has been rising steadily for weeks, and people across much of the continent are now more likely to be hospitalized with Covid-19 than those in the United States.

The hospitalization rate is one of the best real-time measures we have of the severity of the pandemic. While the number of infections is highly dependent on an area’s screening capacity, critically ill people tend to enter hospitals whether or not they have been tested.

Right now, hospitalization rates in the US and the EU are lower than they were during the spring and summer peaks. But the sharply rising numbers are worrying as they affect areas with smaller hospital systems and with fewer resources.

The Czech Republic is a prime example in Europe, where the current hospitalization rate is worse than Britain’s at its peak. Doctors across the country are worried about the staffing shortage, and in some areas they say 10 percent of medical staff are in quarantine.

In the United States, the virus is ravaging rural areas, where residents have to rely on hospitals that have only a handful of beds. Patients are now more widely distributed across the country, and unlike when the virus was largely concentrated in New York City, few nurses or doctors are able to quit their jobs to help in other areas.

It’s not just hospitalizations: The death rate has also started to increase. And a new study has found that nearly 130,000 deaths from the virus could be prevented in the United States until next spring if everyone wore a mask.

Once Americans start getting vaccinated against the coronavirus, government researchers will face a monumental task: monitoring the health of millions of Americans for potential problems and side effects.

By pure chance, thousands of people vaccinated will have heart attacks, strokes, and other illnesses soon after they are injected. Determining whether these conditions were triggered by a vaccine will require a sophisticated and highly coordinated effort on the part of federal and state agencies, hospitals and drug manufacturers. And any issues or problems that arise will need to be clearly communicated to an audience that is suspicious and inundated with misinformation.

Our colleague Carl Zimmer reports exclusively that the National Vaccine Program Office, which was dedicated to monitoring the long-term safety of vaccines, was quietly dissolved by the Trump administration last year. A few dozen technical experts who were on staff in the office, based in the Department of Health and Human Services, were made redundant or moved to an office focused on HIV, not vaccines.

So far, monitoring plans for different vaccines have been fragmented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Immunization Safety will follow up to 20 million healthcare workers and other essential workers who are expected to receive the first batch of authorized vaccines. The FDA plans to review electronic health records and insurance claims for models and analyze data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to track people over 65. Other vaccine tracking systems also have their limitations.

“We’re behind bullet eight,” said Daniel Salmon, who was director of vaccine safety in that office from 2007 to 2012, overseeing coordination during the H1N1 flu pandemic. “We don’t even know who is responsible.”

  • Sure American University Campuses, virus cases continue to increase. Of the more than 214,000 cases of coronavirus that have been identified this year, more than 35,000 have been identified since the beginning of October.

  • Poland, which has reported 64,783 cases of the coronavirus in the past seven days, will adopt a number of new restrictions starting on Saturday. Thirty percent of the country’s 214,686 total cases occurred last week.

  • Residents of Belgium will not be able to attend sporting events, theme parks will be closed and cultural events will be limited to 200 people for at least the next three weeks. The restrictions come a week after the country closed all restaurants, bars and cafes, and limited close social contact to one person outside of a household.

  • Turkish Minister of Health said that Istanbul now accounts for 40% of the total number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Here’s a roundup of restrictions in the 50 states.

  • After a safety break, AstraZeneca has resumed its vaccine trial against the virus in the United States.

  • In a calmer debate, President Trump and Joe Biden offered radically different visions of the pandemic.

  • A Covid baby bust? A report from the Brookings Institution estimated that the pandemic and resulting economic crisis could lead to 300,000 to 500,000 fewer births in the United States next year.

  • A Louisiana State University investigation found that the lockdowns may have changed our personal habits, for the worse. Researchers found that respondents ate more healthy foods because they ate less. But they also nibbled more, exercised less, went to bed later, and slept worse.

  • An evangelical Los Angeles mega-church that has organized interior services in defiance of county health orders is behind a new epidemic, reports the Los Angeles Times.

  • In today’s edition of the morning newsletter, David Leonhardt examines Vermont’s largely successful approach to the virus.

  • Myss Keta, an Italian rap diva who had amassed a vast collection of facial covers she wore for years to hide her identity, was on the verge of stardom. Now everyone looks like him.

At 89, I decided to put my papers in order. I collect all the stories I have ever told my family that now reside only in photographs, letters and documents, but mostly in my head. Hell, it’s more fun than doing crossword puzzles. Re-examining nine decades of significant events in my life is a great adventure in addition to a healer of sorts. Maybe I will live long enough to venture out and mingle with people again after we have all been injected with a reliable vaccine. However, the Grim Reaper looks at me with concern, one way or another.

– Melvin Grossgold, Paris

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