The Wolf looks back on the chaotic, powerful year

Emma J Nelson, Editor-in-Chief

This article contains sensitive material, including mentions of graphic violence.


January 16 The impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump begins in the U.S. Senate.

Jan. 21 – The first case of COVID-19 is confirmed in the United States by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Jan. 29 – The White House Coronavirus Task Force is established. The original members of the Task Force were Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services; Stephen Biegun, Deputy Secretary of State; Robert Blair, Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff; Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security; Joe Grogan, Director of the Domestic Policy Council; Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy; Matthew Pottinger, Deputy National Security Advisor; Robert O’Brien, National Security Advisor; Chris Liddell, Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination; Derek Kan, Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget; Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, and Doctor Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Vice President Mike Pence was not appointed Chair of the Coronavirus Task Force until Feb. 26. Following the appointment of Pence as Chair, Trump stated that the Task Force was “very, very ready for this, for anything, whether it’s going to be a breakout of larger proportions, or whether we’re at that very low level.”


February 9 – Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho, becomes the first non-English film to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Feb. 17 – 300 Americans are evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship after a coronavirus outbreak at sea.

Feb. 29 The first American COVID-19 related death occurs in Washington. The individual who passed away had no recent travel experience, and thus likely contracted the virus through spread on American soil. The male was in his 50s when he passed. At this moment in time, the United States only had 22 confirmed coronavirus cases. In a press release from the CDC, Dr. Nancy Messonier said, “We recognize that this is a difficult time; we are facing a historic public health challenge. We will continue to respond to COVID-19 in an aggressive way to contain and blunt the threat of this virus. While we still hope for the best, we continue to prepare for this virus to become widespread in the United States.”


March 10 – The United States confirms a total of 1,000 coronavirus cases.

Mar. 13 – President Trump declares a national emergency due to COVID-19, the Tigard-Tualatin School District closes their schools until further notice and Louisville police officers shoot and kill 29-year-old Breonna Taylor. This day began the national response to the growing pandemic, our own local action taken to protect students and families and one of the most talked about deaths during the Black Lives Matter summer protests. Currently, 55 U.S. territories are in an active state of emergency, TTSD is using a distanced learning program and no one was charged with Taylor’s death.

Mar. 25 – The United States surpasses 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths with a total number of cases reaching 69,000. 


April 3 – The CDC releases their first request for individuals to wear masks or cloth facial coverings. At the time, the practice of wearing a mask was simply a recommendation to the public rather than an enforced policy. The original hope was to prevent individuals who unknowingly had the virus from spreading it to others. However, as there was a severe mask shortage at the time, the CDC released guidelines on how to construct one’s own mask or other coverings that would work in a similar fashion. President Trump clarified that the wearing of masks was entirely voluntary and he himself would not be doing so.

Apr. 14 – President Trump announces his suspension of U.S. funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Apr. 27 – Coronavirus cases in the U.S. exceed 1 million.


May 15 – Operation Warp Speed is announced by the Trump administration.

May 25- Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin suffocates and kills George Floyd.. One officer kneeled on the throat of Floyd, who was unarmed and handcuffed, as he pleaded that he could not breathe. Three other officers watched but did not intervene. The officer who killed Floyd was charged with second-degree murder, whereas the other three were all charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder. Videos of the murder, recorded by witnesses and nearby security cameras, became public the following day, leading to national outrage and protest.

May 31- President Trump states that he will label Antifa, a far-left, anti-fascist activist ideology, a terrorist group.


June 5- A street two blocks long in Washington, D.C., is renamed “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

Jun. 10 – Coronavirus cases in the U.S. exceed 2 million.

Jun. 20 – President Trump holds his first 2020 campaign rally. Despite rising concerns of COVID-19 spread and death, Trump held a campaign rally that had no social-distancing guidelines nor required the usage of masks. The rally was held indoors despite health officials warning caution, and attendees were not allowed to hold the Trump campaign organizers responsible for any possible exposure to the coronavirus. The campaign event had been delayed one day in an attempt to avoid criticism for holding a rally on Juneteenth at the site of a racial massacre in 1921. Trump admitted during his speech that he had requested that health officials “slow the testing down” to reduce the number of confirmed cases in America.


July 8 – The Supreme Court officially rules that President Trump must release his financial records. Reports following the ruling revealed that Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

Jul. 14 – The Trump administration orders all hospitals to bypass the CDC and report directly to a central Washington database.

Jul. 18 – Reports of unmarked vans containing federal officers forcefully abducting protestors in Portland leads Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to file a lawsuit against the federal government.


August 3 – The Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina.

Aug. 11 – Joseph R. Biden, the Democratic presidential candidate, names Senator Kamala Harris his vice presidential nominee.

Aug. 23 – 29-year-old Jacob Blake is shot seven times in the back by police officers in Kenosha, Wash., leading to a series of violent protests. 


September 10 – Over 10 percent of Oregon residents are reported to be fleeing the wildfires. 

Sept. 18 – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away at 87.

Sept. 29 – The first Presidential Debate between Biden and Trump occurs.


October 1 – President Trump tests positive for COVID-19. 

Oct. 16 – Coronavirus cases in the U.S. exceed 8 million.

Oct. 26 – Justice Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the Supreme Court bench.


November 7 – Joseph R. Biden is announced as President-elect. Kamala Harris is announced as Vice President-elect. With a total of 306 electoral votes under his belt, Biden and Harris will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2021. Harris in particular is making history as the first female, Black and South Asian individual to become Vice President. As of press time, President Trump has yet to concede, though he has acknowledged that Biden will be in office next year.

Nov. 13 – Oregon Governor Kate Brown issues a new mask mandate and business restriction, set to end on Dec. 2.

Nov. 21 – Coronavirus cases in the U.S. exceed 12 million.


December 1 – Oregon reports a new single-day record for coronavirus-related deaths, with 24 new deaths.

Dec. 8 – As coronavirus cases in the U.S. exceed 15 million, USA Today announces that 1 out of every 22 Americans has tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dec. 10 – Brandon Bernard, a Black man on death row, is executed despite new evidence and previous jurors arguing to halt it. Bernard was convicted of murder in 1999, when he was just a teenager. His death made him the youngest individual to be executed by the federal government in 70 years. Five out of nine jurors, along with Bernard’s prosecutor, argued that he should continue serving his sentence in prison rather than being executed, as he was not the shooter. This argument gained massive media support in recent weeks. In previous years, a precedent had been set for federal executions to be delayed during a presidential transition, but the Supreme Court denied the request for a delay. There are four more death row inmates scheduled to be executed before Biden makes it into office; if all four occur, President Trump will have had the most federal executions take place under his administration in over 130 years.