7 Things: Biden takes Arizona while Trump campaign wins legal battle in Pennsylvania, COVID-19 shutdown fight brewing in Alabama, Alabama school system moves to virtual and more …
7. Confederate flag removed
- At the Marshall County Courthouse in Albertville, a Confederate flag, which was originally put there by the Sons of Confederate Veterans,
- has been removed. The flag was replaced with a replica of the design for the Alabama Session Convention pre-Civil War.
- There have been protests over the Confederate flag and monument outside of the courthouse for months, and this is just another area in Alabama that has relocated Confederate symbols in recent weeks.
6. Groups are advocating for CARES Act funding to be spent
- In Alabama, there’s still $1 billion of CARES Act funding that needs to be spent before December 30, otherwise, it will have to be returned to the federal government. Now, Governor Kay Ivey is being approached by groups on how the money should be spent.
- Over 80 organizations have started advocating for how the money should be distributed. In a letter to Ivey, Alabama Arise, Alabama Appleseed and other organizations said, “These CARES Act funds provide our best hope to ensure the economic downturn does not force these families into long term, catastrophic conditions that will impact generations to come.”
5. Fauci says pandemic might be over soon
- The dire talk of a never-ending pandemic seems to have ended as soon as the election did, with Pfizer announcing that they are close to getting approval for their vaccines and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci declaring the pandemic won’t be with us much longer.
- While speaking to a London-based think tank, Fauci said, “Certainly it’s not going to be a pandemic for a lot longer because I believe the vaccines are going to turn that around.” This is a striking reversal of tone for Fauci and others who weeks ago said the pandemic would be with us for a very long time.
4. Republicans support Biden receiving briefings
- Former Vice President Joe Biden is likely to be declared the next President of the United States, and while the final election results haven’t been made official, many Republicans have started advocating for Biden to receive classified briefings to begin the transition of power.
- U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), James Lankford (R-OK), Chuck Grassley (R-IO) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have all come out in favor of Biden having access to classified briefings. Graham was asked directly about this, and even said that he hopes Biden can have access to these briefings soon.
3. Virtual schooling grows
- Until January 5, 2021, Marshall County schools will be virtual due to the increase of coronavirus cases and even the Superintendent Cindy Wigley testing positive for the virus. The transition to virtual learning will begin Friday.
- In what could be a coming trend, other schools across the state are moving to online school, as well. Alexander City schools go online Monday and will continue that way until after the Thanksgiving holidays. In Birmingham, Tuggle Elementary School will go online after five COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks.
2. Ainsworth will fight another shutdown
- While Governor Kay Ivey has been silent, other governors are moving towards more COVID-19 restrictions to fight a growing coronavirus outbreak, but Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth has said that he will fight back against any presented lockdowns.
- Ainsworth said on Twitter that he “will fight this as hard as I can. I am 100% against a lockdown.” Ainsworth has been against shutdowns and the mask mandate.
1. Biden wins Arizona, while the rule of law wins in Pennsylvania
- A victory for former Vice President Joe Biden became more likely last night when multiple media outlets called Arizona for the Biden campaign and the Republican attorney general in Arizona said there was no evidence of voter fraud that would change the state of the race.
- In a rebuke of Pennsylvania’s secretary of state, an appellate court ruled that the state should not count ballots where identification errors were not corrected by November 9, and the decision to do that was in conflict with the state’s constitution. The ruling gives hope to the Trump campaign that the courts will invalidate the extension to accept ballots three days after Election Day that started this chain of events.