The Weekly Wrap: December 5-11


Ben Schanzer

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

Ben Schanzer, Assistant Sports Editor

Welcome back to the Weekly Wrap! It seems as if a vaccine is headed our way, a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. I will be covering a wide variety of topics this week.

Disclaimer: every news story is constantly evolving, so it is possible that more update-to-date information exists elsewhere. For this reason, I will link to many of my sources so you can learn more.

Giuliani tests positive, hospitalized

President Donald Trump’s lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani spent four days at Georgetown University Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Dec. 6.

Similarly to when Trump had COVID-19 in October, it appears as if Giuliani took little away from his encounter with the virus. On Dec. 8, Giuliani called into his radio show and stated, “I think you can overdo the masks” after being asked if his opinion of restrictions intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 would change after being sick.

Giuliani’s infection adds him to the long list of Trump aides and advisors who have contracted the virus after publicly speaking out against restrictions and being seen actively going against CDC guidelines.

FDA approves COVID-19 Vaccine

The FDA approved its first COVID-19 vaccine late Friday evening, Dec. 12.

The vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer, has a 95% efficacy rate and has been approved in Britain, Bahrain, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico.

The approval comes after a heavy push from the White House. Friday morning, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn that if the vaccine wasn’t approved by the end of the day, he would need to resign. Hahn forwarded the order on, leading to the vaccine being approved.

This dramatic series of events may reduce public trust in the vaccine, creating yet another challenge for the incoming administration who will have to work to make people know it is safe.

Biden, Harris named Time’s Person of the Year

Time magazine released its annual list of people of the year. According to Time, the person of the year is defined as the person, group or idea which has “for better or for worse… has done the most to influence the events of the year.” While Time’s award has no actual effect, it is a fun way to reflect on the past year.

Some notable awards were:

Person of the Year- Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who won the 2020 election on a platform of new ideas and a return to normality.

Guardians of the Year- Dr. Anthony Fauci and frontline healthcare workers. Fauci led the government’s COVID-19 response and was seen by many as a beacon of hope and truth according to Time.  Frontline workers made up one of the few industries which never “sheltered-in-place” during the first major wave of the pandemic. They worked with sick and infectious people through some of the most devastating times our generation has seen.

Business Person of the Year- Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, who took a small tech company and made it into the company which we all rely on today. 

Russia hacks top US security firm

FireEye, a cybersecurity expert and US government contractor was reported to have been hacked by Russian foreign intelligence agents according to preliminary FBI investigation results.

In addition to executing many US government contracts, FireEye has nearly 10,000 clients including major corporations like Sony and Equifax.

FireEye went public about the breach in order to remain transparent and to best prepare for any potential further attacks. The hackers stole a lot of information about FireEye protection procedures which could lead to many of their clients being at risk.

The FBI is investigating the matter further before officially assigning blame to any parties.

Former Israeli space expert claims that US government was aware of extraterrestrial life, concealed it

Haim Eshed, former head of Israel’s space program, claimed in an interview with an Israeli newspaper that the US is in contact with extraterrestrials from a “galactic federation.”

Many think that Eshed’s statement was just a publicity stunt to help get his book more sales. Others expressed concerns for his mental health, though few have given the idea any credibility.

The White House, Pentagon and Israeli Government did not comment on the matter, though NASA published a statement that “Although we have yet to find signs of extraterrestrial life, NASA is exploring the solar system and beyond to help us answer fundamental questions, including whether we are alone in the universe.”

Many conspiracy theorists online have been giving the idea more movement, with some creating fake accounts claiming to be a representative from the “galactic federation.”