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Last December, people across the globe watched with hope as American nurses and doctors received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses — only to see our country fall flat on its face as the rollout stalled despite the U.S.’ place as an epicenter of international vaccine development. Now that President Joe Biden has taken office, vowing to “listen to the scientists” and “shut down the virus,” things must have turned around, right? Not so fast — while the federal government’s leadership has undoubtedly improved, the Biden administration's goals for vaccination are relatively tame, at least according to many health experts. Under former President Donald Trump, the federal government falsely promised a near-miraculous rollout of the vaccine. We now face the opposite problem — the Biden administration is underselling the vaccine. It’s time to ramp up expectations and engage in a full bore campaign to get doses into arms as fast as the vaccines are manufactured.
Asian carp, garlic mustard, zebra mussels, lionfish, kudzu vines — the names of these invasive species might sound familiar. The United States is currently home to around 50,000 non-native species, around 4,300 of which are considered invasive. These are non-native species which can inflict significant damage on local ecosystems and overwhelm native species, often despite containment efforts.
This column is featured in the 2021 Winter Carnival special issue.
“Callous and full of blatant disregard,” “doing everything possible to screw us,” “ridiculous” — over the past six months, these have been the words with which the members of the Class of 2023 have described the handling of the pandemic. As a ’23 myself, I agree — our class has been screwed over. We’re enduring an unmitigated surge in COVID-19 cases, a disastrously slow vaccine rollout and more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. All of us are victims of a negligent response by the federal government and the misfortune of this virus arising in the first place.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Jan. 6, as law enforcement worked to secure the Capitol from a Trump-incited insurrection, the Associated Press projected that Democrat Jon Ossoff had won the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia. Ossoff and fellow Democratic senator-elect Raphael Warnock notched key victories in the previously red state, delivering the party a majority in the Senate — thanks, in part, to a consistent closing message advocating $2000 stimulus checks for all Americans.
The end is here. Over 93 million people have already voted, with tens of millions more still to vote tomorrow. And then comes the count. Due to the high proportion of mail-in votes, election-night calls of certain key states, such as Pennsylvania, are highly unlikely. I for one, will likely stay up watching results anyway, while others will make the wise decision to go to bed and check in the morning. But whether you're glued to CNN or waking up to a phone alert the morning after, there’s something likely to be missing from your radar — the results of local elections.
Amid the general turmoil of the first presidential debate, it was easy to miss that Donald Trump made a truly extraordinary statement for a Republican president — when asked if human pollution contributes to climate change, he said “I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes.” Eight days later, Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump administration will “always follow the science” on climate change.
Less than 72 hours after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump privately offered a Supreme Court nomination to Amy Coney Barrett, a staunchly conservative judge and self-described ideological counterpart to Justice Antonin Scalia. The judicial majorities which uphold abortion rights, gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act now stand imperiled. But no judicial confirmation should ever have had such apocalyptic stakes. A single elderly judge has died, a tragic personal loss for her family, friends and admirers — but one which should not be able to dictate the political trajectory of the United States.
On Sept. 9, the University of Michigan-Dearborn announced a “non-POC cafe” for white students to discuss their experiences with race on campus — and drew sharp criticism on social media after students posted images of the invitation. The university swiftly apologized, offering the explanation that it had merely wished to educate white students and “provide members of [its] campus community with opportunities to reflect on their lived experiences.” Yet no matter how it may be justified, enforced segregation yields damaging effects and has not been proven effective in overcoming bias.
According to Tom Friedan, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. could need up to 300,000 contact tracers to help contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, distributing any potential vaccine, especially to areas underserved by the current health care system, will require an unprecedented effort. In light of the current and future need for workers to help contain the pandemic, Dartmouth should consider giving a half-course credit to students who serve in such roles.
In the recent student elections, only seven out of 25 races had competing candidates on the ballot. Eighteen races were uncontested, and five seats had only write-in options. Dartmouth’s student elections are defined by a lack of competition, leaving voters without real choice. To ensure accountability, ballots should include a “none of the above” option — and if this option gets a majority of the votes, the seat shouldn't be filled.
In March, when Tara Reade first came forward with her allegation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden, I did not pay much attention. In light of recent corroborative evidence, however, it has become clear that dismissing Reade’s allegations was a major mistake. Her accusations are grave and credible. Democrats cannot shy away from the possibility Biden committed a terrible act of violence.
Before the New Hampshire Primary, I enthusiastically supported Elizabeth Warren for president. But Warren finished a dismal fourth, even worse than her third-place finish in Iowa. It’s time for her to exit the race and unite progressives in support of Bernie Sanders.
If a juror declared the defendant innocent before the trial even began, would you consider that fair? Of course not — but that seems to be a perfectly acceptable standard for Sen. Rob Portman ’78 (R-OH), despite his “moderate” bona fides when it comes to impeachment. Explosive reports that former national security adviser John Bolton can provide firsthand confirmation of the President’s corruption have yet to yield any definitive statement from the Senator.
In the two weeks since the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the United States and Iran seem to have stepped back from the brink of war. Thankfully, the two states’ brief exchange of conventional force has given way to a de facto ceasefire.
On Sept. 17, the College announced that its endowment grew by 7.5 percent over the past year, reaching a total value of $5.7 billion. Growth has been even greater in past years — the endowment grew an average 10.7 percent annually over the past decade, well past the rate of inflation. Yet rather than use this wealth to dramatically reduce tuition, the College seems content to sit back and count its billions.