There have been a great deal of historical events that have taken place within the month of March. All of us know about the events of last March (2020) which now overshadows previous historical events and achievements. Now let’s take a look back at five historical events that have taken place in the month of March.
The Ratification of The Articles of Confederation:
On March 1st, 1781, The Articles of Confederation were ratified, creating the first taste of a Government in the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Articles remained as the governing body of the U.S. Government until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1789, there were major flaws within it. It created economic disorganization among the 13 States and there was no executive leader. This paved a way to a signing of the current U.S. Constitution that is the backbone of current American Politics.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was Inaugurated as the 32nd President of The United States:
On March 4th, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated and was faced with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. He was offering a New Deal to America and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to this crisis. In his Inauguration Speech, he would go on to say the famous words, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This would rally the American people and cause him to win 3 more elections.
Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union army:
As the Civil War had been raging on for almost 3 years, the Union Army was in need of a new general. On March 9th, 1864, Ulysses Grant would be commissioned as the commander of the Union forces. Grant would go on to fight in numerous battles against the Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee. Eventually, Lee was defeated at the hands of General Grant’s army. This popularity of his successes in war helped him win the White House, becoming the 18th President of the United States.
Obamacare is passed through Congress being signed into law:
On March 23, 2010 in former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, he helped form a Universal Healthcare Reform Bill. This bill was going to allow healthcare to be offered to all Americans. However, this bill created enormous backlash from the Republican party believing it to be unconstitutional. This was the start of a majority of the division we see today in Washington. However, Obamacare was effective and popular among people who could not afford healthcare, helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
The United States buys Alaska.
The Russian Empire at the time was looking to sell its Alaska Territory as it was across the Pacific Ocean and hard to defend. Also, Alaska was very sparsely populated. America was willing to purchase Alaska, however the Civil War postponed the sale until after the war. President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State William Seward set a deal to pay $7.2 million for Alaska, which was only about 2 cents per acre. So on March 30, 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. However, Alaska would not be granted statehood until 1959, almost 92 years after the purchase.
Here are the facts on the amazing science behind the quickest vaccine ever produced
By Andrea Arias
In April 2020, amidst the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the question “When will the vaccine be ready?” first arose, the New York Times released an article where they projected that the vaccine could take until 2033, even though health professionals were aiming to get it done by August 2021. Little did they know that in a little over eight months, the first vaccine for COVID-19 would be approved. Remarkable.
Before the COVID-19 vaccine was created, the quickest vaccine was for the mumps in the 1960s, and that vaccine took 4 years. So, why was the COVID vaccine projected to take so long, and how were we able to get it done so quickly?
–Vaccine Development Process–
Vaccines have always been projected to take years, this is due to the process that takes place to create a vaccine. The process of creating a vaccine is done by using a deactivated version of the virus or a “live but mild version” of the virus that has grown to be less severe. This is then injected into someone, which allows our B cells to create and synthesize antibodies to fight the virus if we are ever to come in contact with a live version.
While this is the traditional and most common vaccine (flu vaccines were created using this method), due to the severity and need for a Covid vaccine as quickly as possible, some companies decided to use a new method this time. Since SARS-CoV-2 was a new virus (SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus and COVID-19 stands for the disease, Coronavirus Disease 2019), with no previous research or understanding of the virus it would be difficult for a vaccine to be created.
The new method used to create the COVID-19 vaccine is called an mRNA vaccine. mRNA is messenger RNA, and its job is to produce proteins. So, how does an mRNA vaccine work? Well, by encoding mRNA with the information needed to produce the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, this allows the body to then realize that this protein is an invader and produces antibodies to fight it. Essentially, it is the same process as a traditional vaccine, but instead of using a version of the virus, a synthetic mRNA is injected and binds to human cells and then creates a “spike” protein (which is what allows coronavirus to infect other cells).
Only two companies decided to take the approach of using an mRNA vaccine, these two were Moderna and Pfizer. The latter is a company under a German government program that is pushing for a vaccine, and the former is a company under the Operation Warp Speed started by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. With the press release from Moderna and Pfizer, we are able to learn how Phase 1/3 went, and how quickly these two companies were able to come up with a solution and vaccine in just 8 short months. According to BioSpace, by Phase I both Moderna and Pfizer achieved outstanding results in non-human models that produced sufficient CD4+ T cells against the virus (see graphic, below). CD4+ cells are “helper” cells that trigger the body’s response to infections.
This is being attached to T cells which are the key white blood cells for the immune system. Along with this, within the first phase both Moderna and Pfizer realized the importance and essential need for a two-dose vaccine. This was discovered because it was found that 43 days or two weeks after the second dose participants had the same level of antibodies as people who had recovered from the virus. While during Phase I Moderna only managed to create a protein, mRNA-1273, that could protect against replication in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2, in a later phase they found how to also prevent infection from the virus.
–Other Promising Vaccines–
While the mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer have been the quickest to be created and released, they are not the only vaccines being created. There are three other types of vaccines being used by other companies to help put a stop to this pandemic. Novaxax is creating a protein-based vaccine, which uses related versions of the spike protein and injects this into a person. By doing this, the protein tutors the immune system in how to fight the virus. This, in turn, allows cells to be pushed into the frontlines, dedicated to fighting the virus. Protein vaccines have been around much longer and have been proven to be highly effective, but they are slower to produce than mRNA vaccines.
Research on the Novavax vaccine has found that it has the highest neutralizing antibodies reported yet. Another type of vaccine is the adenovirus-based vaccine; Johnson & Johnson as well as AstraZeneca have been trying to create this type of vaccine, and it appears that Johnson & Johnson has succeeded. Adenovirus-based vaccines are prepared by inserting a transgene cassette into the adenoviral backbone by homologous recombination, which is an exchange of genetic information from similar or identical molecules or DNA or RNA. According to the CDC, this is a vaccine that is taken orally and is only used in the military, and none exist for public or general use in the U.S. Similarly to the protein vaccine, adenovirus vaccine technology has existed for several years but has not been used to create a general vaccine for public use.
–Timeline of Historic Vaccines–
•December 31, 2020 The first case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 was reported in Wuhan, China.
•January 29, 2020 The first lab-grown 2019-nCov was created. This at the time was the first step for a traditional version of a vaccine for COVID-19 to be created.
•February 13, 2020 A radiologist from Wuhan published findings of a chest CT scan which suggested four evolutionary stages of COVID-19, these four stages being the early stage (0–4 days), progressive stage (5–8 days), peak stage (9–13 days), and absorption stage (≥14 days). Within this time, researchers found that there was an abnormality within the patient’s lungs.
•February 17, 2020 Just a few days later, it was revealed that warmer weather and humidity might not affect the spread of COVID-19 like many had suggested. This posed a problem as, unlike the flu, a person is likely to contract the disease at any point and time of the year.
•February 24, 2020 With shocking speed, Moderna, one of the companies to later release a well-developed vaccine, sent a vaccine to phase 1 testing in the U.S.
•February 26, 2020 Novaxax announces possible candidate against the Coronavirus.
•March 16, 2020 Moderna vaccine testing begins.
•March 30, 2020 Johnson & Johnson announced a lead candidate for their version of the COVID-19 virus. The Janssen vaccine is not a mRNA vaccine but an adenovirus based vaccine.
•April 29, 2020 The first group for Phase I testing is injected with the Pfizer vaccine.
•May 15, 2020 The Trump administration announces ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ This is done to speed up the process of the vaccines currently being tested, which at the time were Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.
•May 25, 2020 Novavax initiates the start of Phase 1/2 testing in Australia, for their NVX-CoV2373, protein-based vaccine.
•May 29, 2020 Moderna starts their evaluation of the vaccine in Phase II. They ran a placebo-controlled experiment to confirm the dose and evaluate the safety of the vaccine.
•May – July 2020 Seven pharmaceutical companies were approved into ‘Operation Warp Speed.’ These were: Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Moderna Inc., University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca Plc, and Novavax, Pfizer Inc. *Note: Pfizer was not initially involved but a deal was made for 100 million doses of their vaccine in mid-July*
•June 5, 2020 The BBC announced for AstraZeneca that they will begin producing potential Covid vaccines. Around this time, AstraZeneca’s vaccine also passed to Phase I. AstraZeneca’s vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine but instead a double-stranded DNA vaccination rather than a single-stranded mRNA. The vaccine is called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 or AZD1222.
•July 27, 2020 Moderna begins Phase III testing of their mRNA-1273 vaccine. On this day, Pfizer also chose their lead mRNA vaccine to advance into Phase II.
•August 24, 2020 Novavax advances to Phase II of Phase 1/2 clinical trial of their NVX-CoV2373 vaccine.
•August 31, 2020 AstraZeneca’s advances to Phase III clinical trials in the U.S. for all adult groups.
•September 2, 2020 AstraZeneca temporarily pauses clinical trials of their Covid-19 vaccine, AZD1222, due to an unexplained illness that occured in the UK during their Phase III testing there. The clinical trials have to be stopped to ensure the safety of all participants.
•November 8, 2020 Pfizer conducted their Phase III trail revealing an efficiency rate above 90%
•December 8, 2020 The first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine is a 90-year-old woman in the United Kingdom.
•December 10, 2020 Pfizer publicized the results of the Phase III clinical trial. There were 43,448 participants, 21,720 of which received BNT162b2, the vaccine, and 21,728 received a placebo, using the two-dose regimen of BNT162b2, which was given 21 days apart. This demonstrated the vaccine to be 95% effective against COVID-19.
•December 11, 2020 The U.S. FDA approved the first Covid vaccine for emergency use in the U.S., the Pfizer vaccine.
•December 18, 2020 The FDA approved the Moderna vaccine to be the second vaccine approved for emergency use in the U.S.
•December 20, 2020 The U.K. authorized the use of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine.
•December 28, 2020 Novavax announces the start of their PREVENT-19 Phase III trial in the U.S. and Mexico.
•January 8, 2021 A Pfizer press release announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is effective against the multiple mutations recently discovered.
•January 28, 2021 In a press release by Novavax, they stated that in their Phase III trials in the UK proved their vaccine is 89.3% effective against Covid-19. (This test was conducted against the new variant in the UK as well as during a time of high infectious rate, meaning they are looking to create a strong vaccine to stop the multiple mutations of Covid-19, including the one in South Africa.)
•February 3, 2021 AstraZeneca announces that their vaccine is 100% effective against severe cases of Covid-19, making it likely the most effective vaccine to be released.*
*Note: this is only against severe cases, hospitalizations, and death; it is still likely to get coronavirus but the likelihood of being hospitalized is very slim from these results.
•February 4, 2021 Johnson & Johnson requested emergency authorization from the FDA for their COVID-19, vaccine which has been found to be 72% effective, less than both Moderna and Pfizer but large nonetheless for such a short period of time. The J&J vaccine was also able to test against the new variant of the virus present in the U.S., South Africa and Latin America at this time.
•February 7, 2021 Africa suspends the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to minimal protection it provided for the variant identified there.
For more constant updates on new vaccines and other vaccines not listed above check out the New York Times Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker which is updated constantly. They also do a great job in breaking down all the vaccines and their purposes.
For all of us, the goal should be to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity in order for this pandemic to be over. According to experts, 85% of Americans need to be vaccinated in order for this to happen. As of February 8, 4,746,539 vaccine doses have been given out. About 40 million people live in California, and of these, only 9.6% have received the vaccine.
Here’s a round-up of more vaccine news:
Health-care workers were first on the list for these vaccines, along with long-term care facility residents.
On January 13, Governor Newsom announced accessibility to those 65 and older.
Newsom also announced major vaccination sites like Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, CalExpo, PETCO Park in San Diego, and more.
On January 25, it was announced that the next phase will be giving accessibility to age-based groups.
As of the first week of February, L.A. County has received 1.2 million doses, and 89% of those have already been used. 184,000 doses were received last week, too. Many of those were saved as a second dose. 218,000 doses are expected to be received this week and more than half of those are going towards the second-dose vaccine. In L.A. County, as of February 8, only those aged 65+, health care workers and residents/staff at long-term care facilities are eligible for the COVID vaccine. Those eligible can make appointments through this link: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/
In L.A. County, starting on February 16, those in need of the second dose were able to obtain it at Pomona Fairplex, the Forum, Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey, Cal State University Northridge, Balboa Sports Complex and El Sereno. Proof of the first dose will be needed in order to enter and get vaccinated.
When California Senator Kamala Harris became the new Vice President, her spot had to be filled by somebody new. Enter Alex Padilla.
Alejandro Padilla was chosen by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to fill Kamala Harris’ seat in the senate for the remainder of her term. Newsom’s decision does not come as a surprise considering Padilla’s extensive experience as a public servant in California.
Senator Padilla and his family have been residents of Los Angeles since his mother and father immigrated to the United States from Mexico. After graduating from high school, Padilla attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After attending MIT, he was selected to become Los Angeles City Council President. He made history as the youngest Los Angeles City Council President. He later became a part of the state senate in 2006 and he went on to represent that people from San Fernando Valley.
During the time that Padilla served as a state senator, he managed to pass over 50 bills that helped the issue of climate change. Alejandro Padilla’s already extensive accomplishments led him to become the first Latino Secretary of State that California has ever seen. Padilla has been breaking racial and socioeconomic barriers since he first began his journey as a public servant in the state of California.
Kamala Harris only needed two more years to finish her term as a senator; so now that Mr. Padilla is filling in for her, a lot of politicians are watching. If Senator Padilla proves to be a productive and effective senator, it could mean that he would be able to get re-elected with the support of his party.
On January 20, 2021, the world looked to Washington D.C. as President Joe Biden was officially inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, continuing the 232-year tradition of a peaceful transfer of power. However, this Inauguration Day looked vastly different due to the Coronavirus, as the national mall was not crowded with people but covered with American flags. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as the first woman Vice President in American history.
The tone of this inauguration was different as it was four years ago, as a theme of unity was a major bullet point in President Biden’s Inauguration Speech. “We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be,” stated Biden, as he spoke in the exact spot where weeks prior violent rioters stood trying to stop his certification as President.
Another difference in this inauguration compared to previous ones was that former President Trump did not show up to the inauguration, becoming just the fourth President in history to purposely not attend his successor’s inauguration. This showed the vast differences between Biden and Trump’s personalities and their feelings towards each other. Trump left the White House before the inauguration with Melania and his son Barron on Marine One. They landed at Andrews Air Force Base where Trump gave a farewell speech to his supporters at the same time as the inauguration. Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence did not join him, however. Pence attended the inauguration with his wife, showing the gap that was formed between the two after Pence did not stop the certifying of the 2020 electoral ballots like Trump wanted him to.
As Biden stepped into the White House, Trump stepped into a Senate Impeachment Trial. The trial lasted from February 9-13. Ultimately, Trump was acquitted on charges of “incitement of insurrection,” as the 57-43 senate vote fell ten votes short of the necessary ⅔ majority to convict him. The seven Republican votes for conviction represented the largest bipartisan vote for an impeachment conviction of a U.S. president.
On January 13, 2021, Donald Trump became the first President in history to be impeached twice by the House of Representatives. The vote passed with 222 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting to impeach, breaking party lines. However, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel did not push to have the senate trial start until after Trump was out of office. If the Senate had found Trump guilty in the impeachment trial he would have immediately been removed from office.
However, since Trump was already voted out by the people, he could have faced a different set of consequences. If the Senate had convicted Trump, then he would have been the first President to actually be convicted (although it would have taken another vote to have Trump barred from office, meaning he could not run for President again). Another vote from the Senate would have also stripped Trump from his post-Presidency benefits, such as a yearly salary and his own personal secret service for life.
Trump could still face a criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit arising from the Capitol assault, and The Shoemaker Bugle will update this story if anything comes up.
Violent protests by an angry mob of President Trump supporters took place at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, leading to a suspension of the official count of the 2020 Electoral College votes by the House and the Senate (pictured, above, protestors clash with police–Julio Cortez/AP).
In the ensuing chaos, a woman was shot and killed while at least five others were taken to the hospital, according to NBC News. The Senate recessed its Electoral College debate after the mob forced a lockdown and Vice President Mike Pence and everybody in the Capitol Building was quickly evacuated.
Lawmakers from the House and Senate were meeting in a joint session on Wednesday to certify electors in the final step ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month. They did not get very far, breaking for debate when the third state’s envelope–Arizona–came up for certification and discussion.
During the session, news quickly shifted to a mob of Trump supporters, who broke through police barriers and eventually entered the Capitol building, engaging with riot police as Congress held a joint session to count the Electoral College votes which would clear the path to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration later this month.
The D.C. Chief of Police declared the event a riot, and the National Guard was brought in just before the 6:00pm EST curfew to clear the area and secure the Capitol Building. After a delay of several hours, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi planned a return to the Capitol to continue certifying the election results. They assembled again at 8:08pm EST with an opening statement by Vice President Pence, who boldly declared, “We condemn the violence that took place here in the strongest possible terms… Violence never wins. Freedom wins… Let’s get back to work.”
“We will not be intimidated. We not be kept out of this chamber by thugs, mobs, or threats… We will certify the winner of the 2020 Presidential Election. Criminal behavior will never dominate the United States Congress. The American people deserve nothing less.”
Senator Mitch McConnell, in his opening statement after Congress finally re-convened
Senator Charles Schumer (who is soon to be the Majority Leader in the Senate) closed his remarks by adding, “Democracy will triumph as it has for centuries.”
World leaders also reacted in shock to today’s events. America, a beacon of hope and a shining example of democracy around the world, has stunned our allies with today’s actions. In a historic week that also saw Georgia elect two new Democratic Senators, violence and chaos stole the headlines.
The Shoemaker Bugle condemns the violence, chaos, and unprecedented interruption to America’s democratic process.We feel that today’s events are shameful and shocking, and this will be seen as an embarrassing day in American history.
•Striking photographs illustrate the extent of the chaos and violence (photos courtesy Getty Images, unless otherwise indicated):
Never before in the United States of America has a Confederate flag appeared in the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building… until Wednesday.
In a video that was later removed from YouTube and Twitter, President Trump addressed a mob of his supporters in a new video, calling for ‘peace’ and telling them to ‘go home’ but continued to tout the false narrative that the election was ‘stolen.’ The video is unable to be shared as it has been deleted. Shortly after 7:00pm EST, it was announced that the President’s Twitter account has been locked for at least 12 hours.
note: This editorial represents the sole opinions of the Shoemaker Bugle student staff & editors
The stay at home order that went into effect Sunday December 6 at midnight is not the same as the one we witnessed earlier this year. This stay at home order comes as a result of the decrease in ICU capacity throughout the state. This order will stay in effect until December 28 and the order will only be lifted if the ICU capacity is at 15% or higher. Currently, Southern California is at 12.5%.
Unlike the lockdown we experienced in the spring, this stay at home order will not close down retail stores or outdoor areas like parks, beaches, and nature hikes. All of the following will be closed during this stay at home order:
Outdoor restaurant dining
Hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and other personal care services
Outdoor card rooms and satellite wagering and casinos
Outdoor museums, zoos, and aquariums
Outdoor movie theaters
Overnight stays at campgrounds
Food, drink, or alcohol sales at outdoor recreational facilities
The use of hotels for vacation trips or to visit family will be prohibited. However, hotels will not be closed down completely. They will still be open to healthcare workers, food, agriculture, energy, utilities, transportation, communications, government operations, manufacturing, financial services and the entertainment industry. The places and activities listed below will remain open in Southern California:
Professional sports without live audiences, except for Santa Clara County. It has its own order banning contact sports, which has forced the San Francisco 49ers to temporarily relocate to Arizona for December home games
Schools that are already open for in-person learning can remain open
Outdoor areas like beaches, parks, and hiking trails
Non-essential traveling will be banned because the increase in cases was caused as a result of out-of-state visitors this Thanksgiving holiday.
Although all of these restrictions have been labeled as requirements, many cities have already announced that law enforcement officials will not help enforce the stay at home order. The reason Governor Newsom decided to label this stay at home order a requirement is because he hoped that it would urge people to help stop the spread.
The Bond Fire spread over 7,000 acres and destroyed or damaged over 26 structures. Thousands of residents evacuated the area. The AP captured dramatic video of the fire.
It all started with a house fire at 28331 Bond Way, in Silverado CA., last Wednesday night. Winds up to 70 MPH and dry conditions worsened the fire. More than 25,000 residents were evacuated. Fire fighters have been working to contain this fire ever since.
As of Sunday, December 6, the fire is 55% contained and residents are still evacuated. Due to Covid, there is no congregate shelter offered. Residents have to stay at a hotel or at a friend’s home, both of which may be uncomfortable due to the virus. In cases like these, Chief Fennessy urges residents to evacuate the zone when in doubt.
Alanis, a hotel worker in Anaheim, was called into work suddenly due to the fires and evacuations. “From super slow days… all of a sudden groups of reservations started to come in and nervous overwhelmed families started to show up. All we can do on our end is comfort them in this tough time and hope everything goes well for them,” she says.
The dry weather and strong winds this December has brought questions and concerns. (photo source:www.californiawildfirerelief.org) Climate change is affecting our earth immensely and we aren’t getting enough rain. Multiple fires have occurred during the summer in California, but it is the deadliest fires that occur at the end of the dry season that is from September to December. Many people have lost their homes and all they own due to wildfires. They are at a greater risk in the midst of this pandemic. Their lives got turned upside down in just one day.
The Black Lives Matter Movement is not just some social media trend that comes and goes but is a progressive coalition that only grows stronger and inspires other minority groups to take action and fight for their rights.
The BLM political action committee has partnered up with the Working Families party announcing a legislative proposal. This legislative proposal, which will be in action in 2021, is supported by well known progressive figures Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. This proposal provides the movement an opportunity of holding elected officials accountable for their actions while pushing for policy change in terms of equality.