Biden vs. Trump: Town Hall
After a messy first debate between the two candidates, the nation was hesitant to see a second one. But after President Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, we did not think the following debate was likely. The debate was then scheduled to occur online after the President's recovery, but he was not interested in the new format and withdrew his participation. Following deliberation on what to do next, two separate town hall-style events, where candidates answer questions from voters, were scheduled for each candidate, on the same date, at the same time—but separate.
The overlapping times were very controversial, due to the fact voters could only watch one candidate at a time, which could possibly lead them to a biased decision in the polls. But whichever one you watched, there was definitely not as much chaos when the candidates went head to head, so you could get clearer opinions and facts. Trump’s event was held in Miami, and Biden’s was held in Philadelphia. Going into the event, Joe Biden was leading by 9.2 points, according to the NBC national polling average. Tt is not clear yet how this new "debate" format has affected the candidates.
Lisa Montgomery and The Death Penalty
For the first time in 70 years, a woman will be federally executed. In 2004, Lisa Montgomery was convicted of murdering a woman and kidnapping her unborn child. Montgomery was put on death row in 2007, but now there's been a date set for December 8th. She will be executed by lethal injection, which is now a single-drug instead of a three-drug injection. Montgomery took full responsibility for her crimes long ago, but her attorney argues that her execution would be unjust as she suffers from mental illness and childhood trauma. Many are upset about her execution date being set, as they have been with others in the past.
Over the years, the death penalty has been a very controversial topic of debate. 25 states still observe the death penalty, and 4 have instated moratorium, which means that they won’t enact it unless absolutely necessary. Many people are heavily against the death penalty as they see it as morally incorrect, or believe that those who have committed crimes should have to live with them for the rest of their lives. The opposing side believe that some people commit crimes so awful that they in fact deserve the death penalty. Other states are working towards abolishing the death penalty. However, states like Texas still use it heavily and Kansas even reversed their abolition of capital punishment, and the U.S. is still quite a bit away from getting rid of the death penalty completely.
Second Wave Sweeps America
Experts have long been predicting a rise in Covid-19 infections as the temperature drops and people begin to gather inside with lifted precautions. In Europe, case levels are spiking severely again. This predicament is even worse for the U.S. which never fully succeeded in curbing infections or “flattening the curve." Many states including North and South Dakota, Montana, and Wisconsin, are recording their highest daily caseload ever, topping infection rates in the spring peak. Other states are feeling the pressure in filled hospitals and overwhelmed ICUs. At least 21 states have experienced an increase in death rates, with North Dakota recording a 45% increase. This comes as most states, especially those with Republican state governments, lift most or all Covid-19 restrictions, and residents begin to resume normal daily activities, including in-person work and school. Scientists worry about the devastating effect this second wave could have as it coincides with the flu season. In the U.S. as a whole, daily reported cases rose 11.8% this past week, and Covid-19 hospitalizations rose by 5.8%. In June, Vice President Pence called “panic” over a second wave “overblown” in an Op-Ed titled “There Isn’t A Coronavirus ‘Second Wave.’” The President has vowed not to issue a second lockdown, instead relying heavily on a promise to have a vaccine before the election, something most companies and scientists have stated is not possible. Although New York remains one of the few states with a relatively stable decline in cases, it is recording a slight increase, with Suffolk County reporting 510 new cases in the past week. It remains in 20th place in the country for total cases.