The Weekly Wrap: October 10-16


Ben Schanzer

Assistant Sports Editor Ben Schanzer’s weekly take on the news.

Ben Schanzer, Assistant Sports Editor

Welcome to the first issue of “The Weekly Wrap”!  Through this blog, I will briefly cover the most important national news stories from the past week and give my take on these events. While this will mostly be focused on politics, I am also going to include other stories that may catch your interest. I’ll provide links to many of my sources, so you can learn more if you’re interested. Please note that every news story is constantly evolving, so it is possible that more update-to-date information exists elsewhere. With that being said, let’s get into it!

Trump returns to the campaign trail after fighting COVID-19

President Donald Trump spent three nights at Walter Reed Medical Center October 2 to 5 after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Many people hoped that President Trump would emerge from his fight with COVID-19 with a newfound understanding of the hardships that over 8 million Americans have faced, though the opposite has seemed to occur.  

On Monday, October 19 President Trump returned to the campaign trail in Florida where he spoke to a largely maskless crowd and continued to talk down the coronavirus pandemic. When he announced his return to campaigning, experts were skeptical as to whether or not President Trump is still contagious for the virus.

Just three weeks away from the election, former Vice President Joe Biden holds a ten-point lead in national polls over President Trump. Because of this, President Trump has been campaigning all week in key southern states and will continue next week, regardless of his potentially contagious status.

Michigan bans open carry firearms at polling places

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced on Thursday that firearms will be prohibited at all polling places. The purpose of this restriction is to prevent voter intimidation, something officials are worried will be more common this year after President Trump and his family called for illegal poll watchers and for supporters to show up outside polling places to support the president.  

In 2016, there were many instances of Trump supporters being armed near polling places nationwide. While these supporters state their goal is to maintain the security of the election, the truth of the matter is that they have no power to do that.  What they do have the power to do is be out on the streets with their guns and show their support for a certain candidate — an action that would intimidate many voters.

This action from the Michigan Secretary of State comes just a week after a domestic terror group attempted to kidnap Michigan’s governor due to her restrictions related to COVID-19.

Biden, Trump hold competing town halls

Because President Trump did not want to participate in a virtual town hall debate with Vice President Biden, both candidates held separate, in-person town halls on Thursday night.  While a town hall debate can be the most informative, as the questions come straight from voters, the Commission on Presidential Debates decided that, because of President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis, it would not be safe to hold the debate in person.  

 After Biden chose to participate in the previously scheduled CBS town hall alone, Trump approached NBC to hold a town hall for him at the same time. This scheduling earned NBC some flak online, though it is consistent with President Trump’s attitude from the first debate, a clear attempt to drown out Vice President Biden.

At the town halls, little was said that may sway voters. Both candidates stuck to their platforms and continued the same rhetoric we have heard throughout the campaign process. Vice President Biden said he would support national mask and vaccine mandates if he is elected, and Trump continued to downplay the risks of COVID-19 and refused to confirm if he received a negative COVID-19 test on the day of the last presidential debate.

It is worth noting that Vice President Biden’s town hall received about 1 million more viewers than President Trump’s.

Apple unveils new iPhone

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, Apple announced four new iPhones: the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPhone 12 mini. The pricing on this new line is similar to that of past years, with the phones starting at $799, $999, $1099, and $699 respectively.  

All the phones feature 5G coverage, the next generation of cell service which, according to, can reach up to four gigabits per second. As always, Apple upgraded the cameras on this year’s line, with each model featuring dual cameras that can increase photo quality through lighting, depth and zoom. On the Pro Max model, you can reach a zoom of 5x, doubling what was possible on the best previous iPhones.

While Apple is producing more phones, the boxes will be smaller. Apple decided that, in order to do their part in protecting the environment, they will ship phones without headphones or chargers. This will reportedly increase the number of phones they can ship on one pallet by 70%, significantly decreasing their carbon footprint. If consumers do not already have an iPhone charger, they will have to buy one. In addition to reducing their carbon footprint, Apple believes it is not necessary for every phone to arrive with a charger, as there are over 2 billion iPhone power adapters in circulation.

Apple’s products are famously expensive, and it will be interesting to see how many sales they get during this rocky economic time.

What we learned from Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearings

Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court on September 26 by President Donald Trump after the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said during the first hearing on Monday, Oct. 12, “This is probably not about persuading each other unless something really dramatic happens. All Republicans will vote yes and all Democrats will vote no and that will be the way the breakout of the vote.”

The hearings lasted four consecutive days and Barrett faced over 20 hours of questioning. Democrats tried to get her to talk about issues that are relevant to their agenda, where Republicans primarily asked her easy questions that could only serve to further her image.

 While nothing at the hearings was brought up that would sway how the senators would vote, it gave the American people a chance to learn a little about Judge Barrett. Barrett, who is only 48 years old, could sit on the bench for over 40 years if she is confirmed. Throughout the hearings, Barrett refused to comment on cases that could come before her such as the November 10 hearing that will determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act.  

One point about her views Barrett made clear was that she is an originalist.  Originalism is the belief that the law of the Constitution is not open to interpretation.  This is a belief that is held by many conservatives whereas progressives believe that the Constitution is a living document that evolves as the nation progresses.

The Judiciary Committee will vote to approve the nomination on October 22.