Presidential Elections That Are Happening This Fall

Everyone knows that the United States has its next presidential election in 2020. This four-year cycle is continuous, making it a unique transfer of power that shows how effective democracy can be.

While everyone may be watching Biden versus Trump play out on the world stage, we must remember that several other elections are happening this fall that could shake up global leadership.

1. Moldovan Presidential Election

This Moldovan election faces the unique backdrop of having some rule-of-law problems in place that undermine the country’s economy. Before the coronavirus issue, the International Monetary Fund said that the government needed to retrieve stolen assets and stop money laundering. The incumbent maintains a lead in the polls leading up to the election.

2. New Zealand General Election

This election was put off because of a coronavirus surge, making it one of the most essential referendums worldwide this fall. Citizens in New Zealand are deciding on leadership, cannabis, and euthanasia in this cycle.

3. Palauan Presidential Election

Although Palau may be tiny, the 340 islands are in free association with the United States. Americans provide defense for the republic, funding, and social services access. Their leadership could create difficulties for American efforts to stabilize the South Pacific.

4. African Presidential Elections

Several countries on the African continent hold their presidential election during the final months of 2020. Four of them are in October, including the Ivorian, Tanzanian, Guinean, and Malawian contests. November has Egypt and the Seychellois presidential elections, while December sees the Ghanaian, Nigerian, and Chadian contents.

If the election cycle follows the same outcomes that we saw earlier in 2020, populism is still the emphasis found in many cultures. That means many incumbents may find themselves elected once again.

For American Democrats, that trend is something that they’ll want to stop. For Republicans, that information provides hope when polls have Trump down by 5-10 points.

What Functions Do the Media Serve in Democratic Politics?

Even when post-communist countries embrace the idea of democracy, strict laws often prevent the media from reporting on political activities.

In Central America, the opposite issue occurs. A select group of powerful families owns most of the media in the region. Their approach to reporting can threaten the democratic governing gains that take shape.

Some countries have media that gets entirely controlled by the government. Then there are the platforms in the United States that have massive access and freedoms to report on almost anything.

What functions do the media service in democratic politics?

Media Does More Than Reporting the News

The media has a surprising amount of power in the Democratic process. Most people get their information from journalists than from any other resource. That means it shapes the way that people think and feel about the world.

In the American version of media, you can see organizations taking one political side over the other by slanting reports in one direction or the other. MSNBC tends to side on the side of liberalism, while Fox News is the typical standard-bearer for conservatism.

Media bias can be a significant issue, although the biggest complaints usually involve a liberal perspective on those with conservative views. 

The issue involves a misperception of the journalism type used to convey information. Four different options are available: partisan, objective, interpretive, and yellow.

It is not unusual to see a conflation of partisan journalism with the objective form.

Journalists cannot report on every possible news account. That means reporters and editors determine what items rise to newsworthy status. By choosing the stories presented to the public, an agenda of importance gets set that shapes public debate. This function is a form of signaling that can influence the government at the highest levels. 

William Randolph Hearst used his newspapers in the late 19th century to talk about how cruel the Spanish were with their colonial governing practices. When the USS Maine exploded mysteriously, the press blamed Spain for the issue. It would result in the start of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

The media sees their role in a Democracy as holding people accountable to their role in government. Reporters work to find the truth, expose hypocrisy, and keep things fair and balanced. That structure works if their own bias doesn’t come into play when presenting information to the public. 

How Journalists Adapted to Quarantine During COVID-19

As businesses shut down because of stay-at-home orders, essential workers were told to telecommute whenever possible. That meant many journalists could offer their reports without going into the field.

Will Reeve, a reporter from ABC News, offered a segment for the show Good Morning America in April, where he was caught not wearing any pants. He had a jacket and shirt on, but then a bare leg made it onto the national broadcast. At least Reeve could poke fun at himself on Twitter afterward.

Some reporters are still operating as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic because of their duties, supplementing their routines with products from brands like Metagenics, Perque, and Seeking Health

Even then, you will see some differences in how they report the news because of this pandemic.

1. Social Distancing

Journalists are now interviewing people by staying six feet away from them. You can also see reporters using Facetime, Zoom, and other video conferencing tools to gather information from sources instead of a face-to-face meeting.

2. Ingenuity

Teleprompters aren’t available today in the field because journalists are working solo instead of with a team. That means a piece of glass with a smartphone becomes a replacement option so that a reporter can see what needs to be said. Some are even put a blanket over themselves so that a voiceover piece can be recorded successfully.

3. Shift Rotation

Instead of sending one reporter to White House briefings, CNN implemented a schedule of rotating shifts to limit exposure risks. This approach is applied at local stations around the world whenever possible, keeping journalists away from the public unless there is no other way to gather the news.

4. Personal Protective Equipment

Journalists are wearing the same protective equipment that you can find first responders using – except for N95 respirators. Since reporters can find themselves interacting with others unexpectedly, they are almost forced to be in their PPE full time.

5. Storyboards

Some reporters are unable to gather the shots needed for a report. Sending someone out to film specific details can be challenging, which is why many are creating storyboards similar to what you’d see for movies and TV shows. This information makes it possible to have multiple people working on a project with a minimum number of people leaving home.

As lockdown orders end and quarantines become a distant memory, many of the innovations that journalists pioneered during this time will likely stay in place. Although you can’t replace a man-on-the-street interview, it is easier to do it on Skype.

Why Warm Weather Doesn’t Always Slow the Spread of a Virus

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus crippled the global economy. Countries like Italy, Spain, and the United States dealt with tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of cases, and a lasting impact on families because of COVID-19.


When a pandemic develops, many people look to warmer weather as a way to have life get back to normal. Although many viruses operate on seasonal cycles, a widespread global event doesn’t behave in the same way.

COVID-19 Will Likely Become Endemic

Most experts think that the new coronavirus will become a seasonal event that will slowly get better as humans develop more immunity to it. Although there will always be risk factors to consider for vulnerable populations, the pandemic months of 2020 should be the worst that there are for this disease.

The same issue happened during the influenza outbreaks of 1918 and 1919, globally. Often referred to as the Spanish flu, it came in three waves to take up to 50 million lives during those 12 months it was active.

Now that the influenza virus is part of the regular seasonal cycle. COVID-19 will become part of that process. The question that we need to answer is whether the sensitivity of the virus to the seasons can influence its capacity to spread.

Related Coronaviruses are Already Seasonal

Coronaviruses are part of a family of enveloped viruses. When you look at them in a microscope, then you can see a lipid bilayer that looks like it is wearing an oily coat. Then proteins stick out of it like the points of a crown to encourage cell infections once it enters the body.

Although other coronaviruses are already seasonal and COVID-19 is about 90% similar to the 2003 SARS virus, the protein spikes in this new version seem wired to infect human cells easier. That’s why it is such an infectious disease. People can start spreading it for up to five days before any symptoms display – and some people don’t have any symptoms.

That’s why we need to be cautiously hopeful. Warm weather can slow the spread of a virus, but it isn’t a guarantee. You can still catch a case of influenza during the summer months. There’s nothing to suggest that the new coronavirus will be any different.

Warm weather can make the oily coat of the virus more susceptible to death before it can infect someone. Cold weather causes it to harden to a rubbery state for more resiliency. Until we know more about how COVID-19 behaves, we must assume that the virus will survive.

Here’s Why the Navy Ship USNS Comfort Deployed to NYC

Americans spend more on their military than the next nine countries in the Top 10 list of spenders in the world combined. During the era of COVID-19, that investment means the hospital ships that are part of the Navy fleet can deploy to help hospitals manage a crush of patients.

That’s why President Donald Trump ordered the USNS Comfort to deploy to New York City. As of April 10, 2020, New Yorkers had more recorded coronavirus infections than any other country in the world.

The USNS Comfort was initially deployed to take patients who weren’t dealing with COVID-19 symptoms. That mission changed when it became apparent that doctors and nurses needed more help on the front lines of battling this disease.

The Vessel Contains About 1,000 Beds for Service

With the arrival of the USNS Comfort in NYC, the hospital capacity for the city went up by about 1,000 beds. That relief valve was necessary because almost every institution in the city was operating at or over capacity with patients dealing with COVID-19.

The vessel also comes with 12 operating rooms, enabling more people to receive needed treatments when doctors and nurses have their attention focused on the pandemic.

The crew of the USNS Comfort is used to challenging circumstances. Its mission ranges from performing humanitarian tasks to supporting military operations.


It isn’t the first time that the vessel deployed to New York City. The crew was there in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center to provide respite and comfort to first responders.

How to Manage COVID-19 Symptoms

Because a coronavirus triggers flu-like symptoms, the best options for home care include a proactive approach to your health.

That’s why taking products from brands like Metagenics, Argentyn 23, and Integrative Therapeutics can be an essential part of your daily routine. When you eat right, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep at night, then this combination of choices can promote greater resiliency in your immune response to viral or bacterial infections.

If you experience a fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, then rest and push fluids. Should your breathing become labored, then speak with your doctor about going to the emergency room.

COVID-19 is problematic right now because it is a new virus. As our immune systems adapt to this new normal, life can start getting back to the way it used to be. The mission of the USNS Comfort is one step forward toward that future.

What the Boy Scouts of America Filing for Bankruptcy Means for the Organization

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020 to relieve the legal pressure it faces from litigation started by sexual abuse victims.


The bankruptcy means that a judge will now place a ceiling on the amount that the BSA will pay to each victim. That means the proceedings could limit the number of assets that get awarded to victims from the accounts of local councils.

A total of 275 lawsuits are currently pending for this century-old organization. An expectation that several thousand additional claims could get filed is considered reasonable because new state laws allow victims to bring cases to the court regardless of when the misconduct happened.

Chapter 11 Allows Scouting Programs to Continue

The BSA says that it intends to use the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process to create a trust that provides compensation to victims. Although the court proceedings will continue, scouting programs will not get interrupted because of this process.

BSA has explored the possibility of filing for bankruptcy since December 2018. It hired a law firm at the time to look at the advantages and disadvantages of Chapter 11 at that time.

The structure of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows the organization to create a reorganization plan that keeps the business alive. Creditors still get paid, but the terms of the repayment get renegotiated under the court’s supervision.

BSA made the filing in Delaware.

BSA’s Potential Liability Is Massive

A case in Portland that involved sexual abuse allegations against the Boy Scouts of America resulted in a verdict of nearly $20 million.

Up until the past decade, the BSA had insurance that would cover claims of sexual abuse. Carriers started withdrawing this coverage protection because they argue that the organization knew about the abuse and didn’t tell anyone.

That means the BSA now faces the prospect of funding settlements and litigation internally.

Even with those challenges, the organization had assets in 2018 that totaled $1.4 billion. Another $1.9 billion is in the accounts of local troops. That means the organization is solvent, even when facing the potential surge of upcoming litigation.

BSA likely hopes that the Chapter 11 filing shields the assets of local councils in the same way that the Catholic dioceses could protect parishes and properties from claims.

This case is a warning for any organization that isn’t taking reports of abuse seriously. If the largest youth organization in the U.S. can get crippled because they did nothing, then it can happen to anyone.