In case you missed it: Week of Sept. 20

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COVID-19 deaths in U.S. reach over 200,000

Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. (Alex Edelman/Pool via AP)

By Tuesday evening, the number of COVID-19 deaths in the United States reached over 200,000, according to an article from the Associated Press

The Guardian reported that the United States has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, and, according to the New York Times, the 19th highest number of deaths per capita — at 1.5 deaths per every 100,000 people. 

In March, President Donald Trump said that if his administration could keep the deaths between 100,000 and 200,000 that would be an indication that they had done a “very good job.” On Tuesday, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said that reaching the dark milestone was “very sobering, and in some respects, stunning.” 

According to USA Today,  the United States’ death toll reached 100,000 in May. A projection from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington — that didn’t even show the United States reaching 200,000 deaths before October — predicted there to be at least another 170,000 deaths by January 2021. 

The Guardian reported that the number of dead in the United States is equal to the population of Salt Lake City, or if the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks happened every day, for more than three months straight. According to the Associated Press, the death toll is close to nearly half of the number of Americans that died in World War II. 

Looking back on his administration’s handling of the pandemic, President Trump told Fox he would give himself ‘a D’ on public relations, but “on the job itself we take an A plus.” 

Two Louisville police wounded in protests 

A man is tackled outside his apartment by police, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. Authorities pleaded for calm while activists vowed to fight on Thursday in Kentucky’s largest city, where a gunman wounded two police officers during anguished protests following the decision not to charge officers for killing Breonna Taylor. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

On Wednesday night, Louisville protests filled the streets which resulted in two wounded police officers, according to the Associated Press.  

Protesters rallied in towns across the United States, including Louisville, New York, Portland, Las Vegas and Philadelphia, after a Kentucky grand jury delivered no charges against police in the death of Breonna Taylor. 

Police in riot gear threw pepper balls and corralled protesters through the streets in downtown Louisville. One video showed police and protesters fully occupying a road so that no vehicles would be able to pass through. Protesters chanted and walked between lines of police officers with their hands in the air, while some officers made arrests on the sidewalk. According to the Associated Press, at least 100 peaceful protesters were arrested in Louisville on Wednesday. 

Interim Police Chief Rober Shroeder said that both wounded police officers were hospitalized, though are expected to recover, and one is undergoing surgery. He said that the officers were wounded while investigating reports of gunfire from a large crowd. There is a suspect in custody, according to Shroeder. 

The Kentucky grand jury found that the two police officers who shot at Breonna Taylor in March were justified in using lethal force to protect themselves when Taylor’s boyfriend had fired shots at them. Taylor was caught in the crossfire in her home. Three counts of wanton endangerment were brought against former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison. 

Though the FBI still has an open investigation on the raid of Breonna Taylor’s home in March, some protesters are still frustrated with the Kentucky grand jury’s charges. 

One protester, Carmen Jones, who has been protesting in Louisville every day for nearly three months, told the Associated Press that protesters are “tired of being hashtags. We’re tired of paying for history in our blood and our bodies and being told to respond to this violence and aggression with peace. We did it the Martin way for the entire summer, and it got us nowhere. Maybe it’s time to do things the Malcolm way.” 

RBG becomes first woman to lie in state 

Mourners pay respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, in Washington. Ginsburg, 87, died of cancer on Sept. 18. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The late Supreme Court Associate Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, will become the first woman to lie in state at the nation’s Capitol on Friday, according to an article from USA Today

According to the justice’s religious traditions, her body was supposed to be buried within 24 hours of her death last week. “Even though it generally goes against Jewish tradition,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Associated Press that it’s important for Americans to have the opportunity to “pause in front and say thank you to her.” 

Thirty-four men have been given the honor of lying in state at the nation’s Capitol since the Civil War. As a private citizen, Rosa Parks, the 1950s civil rights activist, laid in honor at the Capitol rotunda, but Justice Ginsburg will be the first woman to lie in state there, and the second Supreme Court justice after William Howard Taft. 

According to the Associated Press, crowds swelled outside the Supreme Court building on Wednesday, where Justice Ginsburg laid in repose for her family and colleagues to pay their respects. After the private service, Ginsburg’s body was moved outside the building for the public’s opportunity to pay their respects. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were there to pay their respects, along with former President Bill Clinton, who nominated Justice Ginsburg to the Supreme Court in 1993, and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

Justice Ginsburg will be buried next week in a private ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery beside her husband Martin, who died in 2010. 

President Donald Trump said that he will move to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Justice Ginsburg’s death on Saturday, after her burial ceremony. 

Governor bans gasoline cars in California after 2035 

FILE – This April 16, 2020 file photo shows traffic on the Hollywood Freeway (U.S. 101) in Los Angeles. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020 that the state will halt sales of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks by 2035. On Wednesday he ordered state regulators to come up with requirements to meet that goal. California would be the first state with such a rule, though Germany and France are among 15 other countries that have a similar requirement. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom banned the sale of all gasoline powered vehicles in his state by 2035 in what NPR called “the most aggressive clean air policy in the United States.” 

According to the governor’s statement, transportation is responsible for more than half of California’s carbon pollution “while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country.” 

“For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breath,” Gov. Newsom said. “Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma. Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.” 

The governor’s executive order bans the sale of new gasoline cars after 2035, but does not limit their sale in the used car market. 

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