Post-Inauguration Pandemic and Political News Briefs (February 2021 through October 2022)

Early days of the Biden administration and beyond

October 30: ABC/Ipsos poll shows top issues for registered voters: inflation, 22 percent; economy, 28; abortion, 16; and gun violence, 7 percent. About 62 percent of voters want abortion to be legal. At least 200 Republicans running for office are election deniers, and two-thirds of them are likely to win. (ABC News)

October 27: In Reuters/Ipsos poll, about 40 percent of respondents worry about intimidation when attempting to vote in midterm election.

October 24: Math scores of eighth-grade students taking national exam tumble from 34 percent in 2019 to 26 percent this year. Reading scores have fallen in half of the states.

October 21: After six weeks in office as her economic plans crumble, British prime minister Liz Truss resigns.

October 20: Russian president Putin imposes martial law on four areas of Ukraine that were claimed to be annexed illegally.

October 20: Poverty rate for older Americans (65-plus) rose from 9.5 percent in 2020 to 10.7 percent in 2021. In 1960, more than one-third lived in poverty. (The New York Times).

October 17: In New York Times/Siena College poll, 49 percent of likely voters plan to vote Republican for Congress, versus 45 percent Democratic.

October 14: Social Security benefits to rise by 8.7 percent in 2023 &ndash largest increase since 1981.

October 3: The New York Times reports that on day of Insurrection (January 6, 2021), 139 Republican House members (about two-thirds) voted to dispute Electoral College vote.

September 3: Speaking at rally about search of his Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents, Trump brands FBI and Department of Justice as “vicious monsters.”

September 1: President Biden delivers 24-minute speech described by one source as “scathing,” calling out MAGA Republicans as a threat to democracy.

August 8: FBI officers raid Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago, allegedly searching for documents that former president had taken with him when leaving White House – some of which might be "classified," as part of investigations into possible criminality.

August 8: Kansas voters block bill that would have revived old anti-abortion law, by surprising 59/41 margin.

August 7: Following overnight session, Senate passes Inflation Reduction Act, including largest-ever allotment of funds to combat climate change. Bill is expected to pass in House and be signed by President Biden.

July 4: Young gunman fires into crowd at July 4th parade in Chicago suburb, killing six and injuriing more than two dozen. Alleged culprit is captured after intensive search in the area.

June 23: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas announces anti-abortion ruling by five conservatives; Chief Justice Roberts expresses belief that a less extreme decision could have been made. In several states with "trigger" laws, abortion is immediately illegal (half of states are likely to follow suit or impose severe restrictions soon).

June 23: One day after declaring New York's gun-control law unconstitutional, intensifying scope of Second Amendment, Supreme Court overturns right to abortion that has been considered "settled law" for half a century. Decision on overturning Roe v. Wade was expected, but is in opposition to public opinion.

June 21: Fourth hearing from Select Committee investigating January 6 insurrection reveals that Trump and allies pressured election workers in certain states to violate the law and Constitution, to alter the outcome of 2020 election. Officials and workers who failed to comply tell of violent threats and verbal attacks against them, upending their lives. Georgia woman describes how Trump lied venomously about her and her mother, asserting with no evidence that they were election criminals and should be jailed.

June 20: Texas Republican convention packs its platform with far-right extremist positions, including acceptance of Trump's "Big Lie" about 2020 election.

June 16: Third hearing on January 6 insurrection focuses on pressure applied by Donald Trump and allies upon Mike Pence to block certification of 2020 election. Fourth hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22.

June 13: Former Trump senior aide Steve Bannon threatens U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, angrily vowing that if he indicts Donald J. Trump, "We're going to impeach you and everybody around you." Already under indictment for contempt of Congress, Bannon began his tirade by insisting that "Trump won the presidency." (CNN)

June 11: In wake of latest massacres, in which shooter used military-style semiautomatic weapon, activists march for gun control in more than 400 cities.

June 9: Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and chairman Benny Thompson (D-Miss.) lead first public session of House Committee investigating insurrection of January 6, 2021. At least five additional sessions will follow in June.

May 24: Teenage gunman Kills 19 young children and two teachers at elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Nation goes into mourning, as gun-control advocates hope this tragedy will finally spur Congressional action.

May 21: Ukrainian forces surrender to Russia at eastern city of Mariupol, which has been under intensive siege for weeks.

May 16: Sweden joins Finland in seeking to join NATO, relinquishing the neutral status maintained by both countries. After threatening Finland earlier this month, Russian president Putin now says he has no objection if both countries become NATO members, as long as they pose no military risk to Russia.

May 15: Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts will call special session to ban all abortions in his state if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Ricketts tells CNN that a young girl who was raped and made pregnant should be compelled to have the baby.

May 14: In response to leaked draft of Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, pro-choice advocates hold rallies around the country.

May 13: Republican Congressional delegation, including Mitch McConnell, meets President Zelensky in Ukraine.

May 9: Russian president Vladimir Putin celebrates Victory Day with huge military parade, recalling World War II, but does not quite claim victory in current battle with Ukraine.

May 2: Leaked document obtained byPolitico, allegedly in form of a "first draft," purportedly suggests that U.S. Supreme Court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, half a century after that ruling went into effect. Final Court decision on abortion rights is expected to be issued in late June. News of draft's wording, written by Justice Samuel Alito, quickly draws angry responses from pro-choice Americans, as large protests take place in several major cities.

April 28: President Biden seeks $33 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, mostly (but not entirely) for weaponry. Bipartisan support from Congress is anticipated.

April 25: Emanuel Macron wins second term as France's president, beating strong challenge from far-right candidate Marine LePen.

April 19: Federal judge in Florida strikes down mask mandate for travelers on planes, trains and buses, ruling that Centers for Disease Control lacked the authority to initiate such mandates.

April 19: Former presidential lawyer John Eastman blocks 3,200 Trump-related documents from scrutiny by commission investigating January 6, 2021 assault on Capitol. (CNN)

April 18: Florida's Department of Education rejects 54 (41 percent) of math textbooks submitted for approval, citing references to "critical race theory" and Common Core, as well as inclusion of material regarding social issues. (CNN)

April 18: Charity kitchen in Ukraine, operated by world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés, is destroyed by Russian missile.

April 7: Following contentious questioning in Congress, Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed by Senate as first black female Justice of the Supreme Court. Three Republican Senators (Susan Collins, Mitt Romney, and Lisa Murkowski) joined all 50 Democrats to say "aye."

April 6: United Nations suspends Russia from Human Rights Council, citing reports of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

April 2: Videos and firsthand reports reveal murders of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians by Russian military. Cities like Mariupol and Bucha are virtually decimated, with dead bodies in streets or dropped into mass graves, some victims with hands tied behind backs. Evidently, Russians have given up on Kyiv, the capital, turning attention to control of eastern region instead.

March 28: At campaign rally in Georgia, former president Trump continues to praise Russian president Putin, declaring that "the smartest one gets to the top." (CNN)

March 26: "For God's sake," President Biden says during speech in Warsaw, "this man cannot remain in power." According to CNN, the White House advises that the U.S. is not calling directly for regime change.

March 25: Text message reveals that far-right activist Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice, texted Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows to push for overturning of 2020 election.

March 24: Ketanji Brown Jackson, Biden's nominee for Supreme Court, is grilled intensively by far-right Republicans in Senate. Critics allege that those Senators are using the hearing to highlight familiar grievances, rather than inquiring about the nominee's judicial philosophy and qualifications.

March 16: Ukrainian President Zelensky likens Russian attack to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

March 16: Some observers of Russian attacks have been asserting that World War III isn't a possibility, but that it's already begun. In an NBC interview, Ukrainian president Zelensky says it "may have already started."

March 13: American photojournalist Brent Renaud shot and killed by Russians in Ukraine.

March 13: Russia attacks military base in western Ukraine, not far from Polish border, killing dozens.

March 6: At least 1.5 million Ukrainians have already fled the country, seeking refuge in Poland and other countries to the west, traveling long distances by train, car, or on foot. U.S. is granting "temporary protected status" to arriving Ukrainians. The European Union is offering temporary residence status to refugees.

March 5: Russian president Putin warns that enacting a no-fly zone over Ukraine would constitute an "act of war." Despite pleas for that action from Ukrainian president Zelensky, the Biden administration, along with allies, have firmly opposed a no-fly zone, fearing that it would indeed lead to all-out war.

March 5: Prominent poll finds that Biden's approval rating has risen from 39 percent in February to 47 percent in March.

March 5: Of the 1.5 million families fleeing Ukraine in the early days of Putin's "special military operation," 52 percent went to Poland, and 12 percent on Hungary. Other countries bordering Ukraine toward the west accounted for the rest, apart from those who were able to travel onward into western Europe, or get to North America.

March 5: U.S. State Department warns all Americans to leave Russia immediately, due to "increased risk of harassment by Russian officials," according to ABC News.

March 4: Reacting to coverage of the invasion of Ukraine from journalists, Russia makes spreading "fake" news on Russia's armed forces a crime, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A day earlier, one of Russia's last independent news outlets yielded to pressure and halted its broadcasting. Several global news services soon suspended their onsite reporting. "Every deviation from the official narrative about this was is now punishable with jail," independent journalist/commentator Mikhail Fishman told the BBC. Meanwhile, numerous protesters in Russia are being beaten and detained.

March 4: According to NPR/PBS/Marist poll, 83 percent of Americans support sanctions against Russia; and 69 percent favor sanctions even if gasoline price rises (which it is).

March 2: Russian forces capture first major Ukrainian city: Kherson, a vital port on Black Sea. Long convoy of military vehicles, headed for Kyiv, Ukraine's capital, is slowed by resistance from Ukrainian fighters as well as supply shortages.

March 2: Growing number of critics accuse Russia of committing war crimes, for bombing and shelling civilian targets.

March 1: State of the Union address by President Biden starts with 12-minute segment on Ukrainian crisis that draws bipartisan acclaim, before enumerating long list of distinct goals. Some critics praise Biden's ambitious plans; others consider the speech to be an oversize "laundry list" of desired actions, insufficiently prioritized.

February 26: At annual gathering of Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), such dire subjects as Russia's assault on Ukraine are largely ignored, as most speakers focus on cultural grievances and the "stolen" election. Charlie Kirk, founder of pro-Trump Turning Point USA, denounced "the Republic Party of Old," according to The New York Times, leaning instead toward "our wonderful 45th president." Senator Rick Scott (D-Fla.) warned of "woke, government-run everything."

February 24: Secretary of State Tony Blinken asserts that “all evidence suggests that Russia intends to encircle and threaten Kyiv," Ukraine's capital city. Furthermore, U.S. believes "Moscow has developed plans to inflict widespread human rights abuses – and potentially worse – on the Ukrainian people.” (The New York Times)

February 23: Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), chairman of National Republican Senatorial Committee, issues 11-point plan for future of GOP. Scott's plan would have every American pay some amount of income tax; finish the border wall and name it for former president Trump; end questions about race, ethnicity or skin color on government forms; sell numerous government buildings and other assets; cut government workforce by 25 percent (50 percent for IRS); and have socialism "treated as a foreign combatant."

February 19: In coming weeks, every state except Hawaii will have halted mask mandates, reflecting drop in number of new Covid cases. Critics cite still-troubling figures for hospitalization and death, insisting that ending mandates is premature.

February 4: Addressing conservative gathering, former vice-president Mike Pence states emphatically that Trump was "wrong" in insisting that Pence had the right to overturn the 2020 election.

January 27: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announces intent to retire at end of current term, giving President Biden an opportunity to nominate a new Justice. During campaign, Biden had promised that his first Court pick would be a Black woman.

January 13: Supreme Court blocks Donald Trump's attempt to keep White House documents pertaining to January 6 Insurrection secret.

January 13: Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), House Minority Leader, refuses to comply with request for voluntary appearance before committee investigating January 6 insurrection.

January 11, 2022: During appearance in Congress, Doctor Anthony Fauci jousts with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and reports on death threats against himself, as well as harassment of his family. At conclusion of his comments, Dr. Fauci is heard to mutter "What a moron" under his breath, after an altercation with Sen. Robert Marshall (R-Kansas).

December 19, 2021: Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says unequivocal "no" to Build Back Better bill.

December 14: Infectious-disease experts warn that Omnicron variant of Covid is spreading much faster than Delta version, noting that total number of cases is doubling every two or three days.

December 14: Senate votes to extend federal debt limit by $2.3 trillion.

December 13: Texts sent to former president's chief of staff Mark Meadows reveal that during January 6 insurrection, Donald Trump Jr. and others pleaded with the former president to condemn the violence immediately. (CNN)

November 9: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) tweets modified animated video that depicts him killing fellow Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) and attacking President Biden. Gosar tries to defend his action, but blowback is swift.

November 6: House passes $1.2 trillion "hard" infrastructure bill, despite several defections from both parties, including Democratic progressives. Build Back Better Act for "social safety net" infrastructure development is delayed.

November 5: More than 100,000 protesters march in Glasgow, Scotland, demanding climate "action," as COP26 meeting continues.

November 1: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announces that he might not vote for $1.85 trillion "social" infrastructure bill, dampening Biden Administration's hope for a legislative victory by enacting Build Back Better program.

October 20: Once again, Senate Republicans block Democrats' voting-rights bill. Among other issues, Freedom To Vote Act would expand early voting, modify methods of mapping Congressional districts, and declare Election Day a public holiday.

October 18: Trump sues committee investigating January 6 assault upon the Capitol, to prevent release of related documents by National Archive.

October 17: Covid-19 cases have been declining, but data still affirm that pandemic is far from over.

October 8: In recent Pew Research poll, almost two-thirds of Republicans said the GOP should not readily accept elected officials who criticize Donald Trump in public.

October 7: Senate Judiciary Committee issues 400-page report titled "Subverting Justice." Based upon eight-month, still-ongoing investigation, the report indicates that on nine occasions, Trump asked the Department of Justice for help in overturning the 2020 election, with the assistance of a top DOJ attorney. (CNN)

October 6: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell proposes temporary extension on debt ceiling, expiring in December. Democrats agree to the short-term measure.

October 2: In wake of new abortion restrictions in Texas, reproduction rights supporters march at some 600 rallies around the U.S.

October 1: Substantial numbers of unvaccinated workers decide to accept the jab when threatened with job loss, as variety of employers adopt vaccine mandates. Still, many continue to resist, including thousands of teachers in New York and other cities.

October 1: President Biden meets with House members to urge passage of bipartisan "hard" infrastructure bill. Progressive House members have been opposing its passage, unless the more costly "soft" infrastructure bill is introduced at same time.

September 26: Prospects for passage of either "hard" or "soft" infrastructure bill look bleak, due to intense disagreements between and within Democratic and Republican parties. Two moderate Democrats continue to reject the $3.5 trillion "soft" bill, as do all Senate Republicans.

September 24: Migrant encampment at Del Rio, Texas is cleared of asylum seekers ... at least 2,000 are deported to Haiti, others head for Mexico, while thousands are sent to U.S. destinations.

September 24: Arizona Senate issues report on highly-criticized, partisan "audit" conducted by CyberNinjas group ... report declares that Biden won 2020 election in Maricopa County and the state, by even greater margin than previously stated.

September 21: Biden administration deplores behavior of U.S. Border Patrol agents, on horseback, aggressively "chasing down and blocking" Haitian migrants at border town of Del Rio, Texas. Vice-president Kamala Harris calls video images of the scene along Rio Grande "horrible." (The New York Times)

September 21: Texas governor approves barrier made up of police vehicles, stretching for miles, to deter migrants from crossing border. Most of thousands of asylum-seekers are Haitian, but 97 percent have been living in Central or South America since leaving the troubled Caribbean island. (CNN)

September 21: Memo shows Trump campaign knew claims of election fraud related to Dominion voting machines were baseless.

September 9: President Biden announces national vaccine mandate, which may affect 100 million Americans, including health-care and federal workers. "We've been patient," he said, regarding the unvaccinated. "But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us."

September 1: Afghan war is officially over after 20 years, as Taliban prepare to establish their own version of government.

August 30: During late August, 116,000 people are evacuated from Kabul before last American general departs.

August 24: House passes Biden's $3.5 trillion "soft" infrastructure bill, which faces strong opposition in Senate from some Democrats as well as all Republicans.

August 24: Taliban refuses to allow any Afghans to leave the country, orders everyone in huge crowd at airport to return home.

August 15-23: Massive, chaotic crowd fills Kabul airport and surrounding area in Afghanistan, as Afghans who assisted U.S. military plead for evacuation from the country. Chaos reigns for more than a week. Americans remaining in the country also need to be evacuated.

August 15: Taliban fighters enter Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, following takeover of various cities along the way.

August 21: Nearly 200,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported on August 20. The new-case count has showed a steep rise since July 4th, which had only 2,922 new cases.

August 21: News sources report that as many as 14,000 people are still crowded into Kabul airport, desperate to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Biden administration hopes to compel commercial airlines to help speed up the evacuation.

August 7: For fourth day in a row, U.S. reports more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases. Most infections are tied to Delta variant, and affect the unvaccinated.

August 7: Trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, focusing on "hard" items like bridges and highways, awaits final vote in Senate.

July 31: Eviction moratorium is set to expire at midnight, leaving millions to face possible homelessness. Deadline for extension passes, allowing evictions to begin on Sunday August 1. Extension opponents complain that Congress has already allocated $47 billion, but only $3 billion has been spent.

July 30: Newly released handwritten notes pertaining to December phone call suggest that Trump pressured Department of Justice to declare 2020 election "corrupt," adding that they could "leave the rest to me" and Republican allies in Congress. DOJ officials refused.

July 27: Four Capitol police officers testify in House of Representatives about their experience during the January 6 riot, as part of committee proceedings initiated by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Officers describe being beaten, crushed, and subjected to taser. Also during hearing, one Democrat confronts Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) over his remarks comparing the Capital assault to an everyday tourist visit.

July 27: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revise guideline, now recommending mask-wearing at indoor events.

July 21: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects two of the five Republicans put forth by minority leader Kevin McCarthy to serve on committee investigating January 6 Capitol riot. Pelosi cited statements made and actions taken by Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Indiana), including their intense promotion of the baseless charge that the 2020 election was "stolen" from Donald Trump. McCarthy soon announced that no Republicans will serve on the committee. Previously, Republicans had rejected attempt to establish a fully bipartisan investigation.

July 16: White House releases video featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci (age 80) and pop singer Olivia Rodrigo (18), encouraging young people to get vaccinated. Rise in number of Covid-19 cases among young people has been worrisome, while the CDC director warns of "pandemic of the unvaccinated." (CNN)

July 13: "We are facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War." So said President Biden during a Philadelphia speech on voting rights.

July 13: After hosting Euro 2020 football (soccer) finals, United Kingdom sees daily Covid case rate shoot up to 42,000 – a figure unseen since January. Meanwhile, cases are surging in U.S. "hotspots," mainly among the unvaccinated. (CNN)

July 8: President Biden announces that American military will depart from Afghanistan by August 31, ending 20-year "mission." Critics blast his speech, warning that the Taliban will continue to gain strength.

July 2: Supreme Court denies access by House Democrats to secret grand jury records pertaining to Mueller investigation, which aimed to determine whether Donald Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller. (CNN)

July 1: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi selects Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to serve on commission investigating the January 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol. Minority leader Kevin R-Calif.) claims to be "shocked," having warned that any participating Republican would lose his or her committee assignments.

June 30: C-SPAN poll of presidential historians ranks Trump one of worst ever. His highest ranking (for public persuasion) was 32nd. He ranked lowest (position 44) in moral authority, with administrative skills close behind. Overall, Abraham Lincoln ranked No. One, followed by George Washington. Trump ranked fourth from the bottom, ahead of Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchanan.

June 24: Accompanied by several Congressional Republicans, President Biden announces bipartisan "deal" on infrastructure, focusing mainly on "hard" items like roads and bridges. Price tag is $1.3 billion, down substantially from the broader $1.9 billion bill he'd favored. Later, the president states that he will not sign this bill unless he also submits an additional bill that would include "softer," socially-relevant items.

June 18: President Biden signs legislation establishing "Juneteenth" as national holiday, starting immediately. "Juneteenth" commemorates the last group of slaves in Texas, who did not hear about their release from slavery until June 19, 1865 – 2.5 years after Abraham Lincoln had signed Emancipation Proclamation.

June 17: In 7-2 vote, Supreme Court blocks third attempt by Republicans to overturn Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Two Trump appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, join in majority opinion.

June 15: Twenty-one House Republicans vote against awarding four congressional gold medals to Capitol police officers who engaged with rioters on January 6.

June 15: Governors of New York and California announce re-opening of their states, citing percentages of people vaccinated and decline in Covid-19 case. See comment at right.

June 8: Bipartisan Senate report on January 6 assault on Capitol contains new details, but omits Trump's role as instigator and avoids the world "insurrection."

June 7: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) calls Trump's incendiary speech prior to January 6 Capitol riot "the most dangerous thing" any president has done, adding that it's the worst violation of the presidential oath of office. (CNN)

June 3: CNN reports that Donald Trump's fixation on his imaginary election loss has been intensifying, as he curtly dismisses warnings from close advisers that it's time to "move on."

May 31: Marking the close of the 74th World Health Assembly, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared that despite the decline in Covid-19 cases and deaths, "it would be a monumental error for any country to think the danger has passed. (CNN)

May 31: Speaking at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, President Biden urges Americans to remember and consider those who died during military service. "Democracy itself is in peril," he asserted, both "at home and around world.... how we honor the memory of the fallen will determine whether or not democracy will long endure."

May 31: Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that 53 percent of Republicans believe Trump is the "true" president. In Quinnipiac University poll, 66 percent of GOP respondents expressed belief that Biden's election was illegitimate. An even greater number (85 percent) said they prefer political candidates who generally agree with Donald Trump. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that while he was president, Trump made more than 30,000 false and misleading claims.(CNN)

May 30: Poll finds that 23 percent of Republicans support QAnon conspiracy theories. which assert that government, media, and financial interests are controlled by Satanic pedophiles. "True patriots," in the opinion of 28 percent of Republicans, "may need to resort to violence to save the country," as reported by CNN.

May 28: Senate votes 54-35 against establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the root causes of the January 6 insurrection. Only six Republicans voted in favor of doing so: Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Mitt Romney, and Ben Sasse. Sixty "yea" votes would have been needed for passage.

May 23: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) likens face-mask mandate for House members with the Holocaust, comparing it to the Nazi requirement during World War II that Jews wear a Star of David. Her comment drew intense backlash from both Democrats and Republicans. Rep. Lyn Cheney (R-Utah), recently ousted from her GOP leadership role for calling out Donald Trump's false election claims, called Greene's statement "evil lunacy."

May 13: Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updates Covid prevention guidelines, announcing that vaccinated people no longer need to wear face masks or maintain social distancing. Exceptions include public transit and hospitals. President Biden calls the move a "milestone; a great day." Despite widespread enthusiasm, critics - including many epidemiologists, according to The New York Times - suggest that the change was premature.

May 12: Rep. Andrew Clyde (R -Ga.) denies that an insurrection occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, declaring that the riotous attack seen across the world on video was actually more like a group of ordinary tourists wandering through the building. His comments drew major backlash, though a number of other Republicans also downplayed the incident.

April 29: CNN poll finds that 26 percent of American adults (44 percent of Republicans, but only 8 percent of Democrats) do not intend to seek a Covid-19 vaccination. At this point, 55 percent have received at least one dose. Some 58 percent of those who have received one dose say they're ready to return to normal life, while a whopping 87 percent of Americans who say "no" to vaccination are prepared for prompt return to normalcy.

April 28: President Biden addresses joint session of Congress.

April 28: Federal officers raid apartment and office of Rudy Giulani, seizing his phones and computers.

April 9: Public health experts anticipate a surge in Covid-19 cases, exacerbated by the more contagious, more deadly variants of the virus. By mid-April, every American 16 or older will be eligible for vaccination - though appointment-making remains a tedious ordeal in many areas. President Biden's goal of providing 100 millions doses by the end of May is expected to be reached well before that date, but tens of millions are refusing to accept vaccination.

April 9: In new memoir, former House Speaker John Boehner not only regrets voting for impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1990s, but holds Donald Trump responsible for inciting insurrection at U.S. Capitol on January 6.

April 3: CNN reports that lawmakers in 47 of the 50 states have introduced at least 361 bills that would make voting more difficult. Only Ohio, Delaware, and Vermont have thus far resisted pressure from Republicans to initiate legislation that restricts access to the ballot box.

April 2: More than 915,000 jobs were created in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. However, at least 8 million jobs that existed a year ago have not yet resumed – and may or may not do so.

March 31: President Biden initiates multi-faceted, $2 trillion "infrastructure" bill. Republicans, including Senate leader Mitch McConnell, immediately signal opposition, citing excessive cost. Biden has vowed to "go big" with investment in the country, despite the high cost.

March 11: In his first primetime address to the nation, Joe Biden vows that vaccines will be available to every adult American by May 1. He also promises to ease the procedure for making appointments and obtaining the inoculation, including a new federal website and substantial increase in number of vaccination clinics.

March 11: President Biden signs $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus/relief bill, including $1,400 payment to most Americans, boost in child tax credit, and additional $300 per week for workers receiving unemployment compensation. Bill passes the Senate without a single Republican vote. Proponents, including Bernie Sanders, consider it the most important progressive legislaton "in decades," while Republicans insist it's too expensive and includes elements unrelated to the Covid pandemic.

March 3: Congress cancels March 4 session, because security analysts found credible threats of an attack against the U.S. Capitol on that date, by far-right militia grouops. (Originally, March 4 was the date for the inauguration of a new president.) Conspiracy theorists have indicated they expect Donald Trump to be returned to the presidency at that time. (CNN)

February 28: Donald Trump makes his first public appearance since leaving the White House, speaking at CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference). Rather than focusing on issues pertaining to the Republican party, he spends considerable time continuing his baseless claim that he won the election, and on plans for revenge – attacking those Republican lawmakers who voted in favor of impeachment.

February 16: Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) files civil lawsuit against Donald Trump, charging incitement of the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Rudy Giuliani is named in the siut, along with several far-right groups, including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Additional lawsuits against Trump are expected. The current suit was filed under the Ku Klux Klan Act, a vestige of the Reconstruction era following the Civil War.

February 16: In a statement, Trump attacks Sen. Mitch McConnel (R-KY) for his caustic, unambiguous criticism of the former president's behavior related to the Capitol assault.

February 15: Nancy Pelosi announces intent to establish "911-style" commission to investigate January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

February 13: After voting to acquit the former president, citing concern about the constitutionality of impeachment, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admits that Trump "is practically and morally responsible for provoking" the assault and rioting at the Capitol on January 6.

February 13: Senate votes to acquit Donald Trump in impeachment trial, with seven Republicans joining the 50 Democrats in vote of guilty. Those seven, along with 10 House Republicans who voted guilty, face possible censure from party officials in their home states.

February 9: Second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump begins in U.S. Senate. Trump lawyers intend to challenge the constitutionality of impeaching a public official who is no longer in office. Democratic strategists are expected to make extensive use of video taken during and prior to January 6 storming of the Capitol, focusing on Trump's own words rather than introducing witnesses.

February 6: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) is officially censured by her state's Republican party for voting to impeach Donald Trump.

February 4: Eleven Republicans join full complement of House Republicans to take committee assignments away from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

News Briefs from the Trump Years Are Available

Please Click Here for News Briefs from mid-March through December 2020 – plus the final days of the Trump presidency (January 1-20, 2021). Two years of Trump News Briefs (January 2017 to December 2018) may be downloaded as a PDF file. News Briefs from the period prior to Trump's 2017 inauguration also are downloadable in PDF form..

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