The week seems to start on the right foot, after the Academy gave us a show to disconnect from reality on Sunday and forget a bit about the avalanche of bad news.
This weekend was full of unique events. From Dr. Fauci’s myth-busting conversation with Latinos about the vaccine to the recognition of genocide in Armenia, here’s the news you need to know to start your week.
Amid controversy and well-deserved winners, Oscars make news again
The 2021 Oscars were, among other things, a surreal event, readapted to pandemic conditions, and full of not-so-surprises.
Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, and Actress. Anthony Hopkins snatched the best actor Oscar for “The Father” from the late Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), and nine of the 20 acting nominations went to people of color.
Fauci, Menendez, and Ruiz speak on MSNBC about COVID’s impact on the Latino community
In a special edition of “American Voices” aired Sunday afternoon on MSNBC, host Alicia Menendez spoke with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Representative Raul Ruiz about the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the Latino community.
Dr. Fauci attempted to dispel any doubts about the efficacy of vaccines and the CDC and FDA protocols, which Rep. Ruiz joined in by assuring that, “If you bring the vaccines to the community, the community will get vaccinated.”
He added: “Overwhelmingly, the reason why vaccines had such dire disparities in vaccination rate is not because of hesitancy, it’s because of a neglected system that hasn’t worked for Hispanic population and has produced the chronic medical healthcare disparities, to begin with.”
Asked about vaccinations for undocumented immigrants, Rep. Ruiz said, “Our undocumented individuals often times are denied certain life-supporting services from our government… But note that the vaccines cannot be denied based on immigration status.”
Speaking of vaccines, Navajo Nation Leads the Way
Another of the communities most impacted by the pandemic has undoubtedly been the Navajo Nation. However, faced with the need to clamp down on the issue, more than half of the Navajo Nation’s adult population has been vaccinated, Navajo Nation President Johnathan Nez said in a press release Sunday.
Biden acknowledges genocide more than a century ago
While it may seem like ancient history, President Biden’s acknowledgment of the mass slaughter of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks more than a century ago has been a crucial move in international diplomacy.
Known as the Armenian Genocide, this grim event was the mass, systematic murder and ethnic cleansing of some one million ethnic Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey) during World War I.
On the orders of Talat Pasha, an estimated 800,000 to 1.2 million Armenian women, children, and elderly or infirm Armenians were sent on death marches into the Syrian desert in 1915 and 1916. Led by paramilitary escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to robbery, rape, and massacres.
To avoid diplomatic conflicts, no U.S. president had acknowledged the reality of such an atrocity until now.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Biden said in a statement.
“Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world,” the president said. “And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.
“The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today,” he concluded.
What else has Biden done?
President Biden is preparing to lay out all that he has accomplished in his first 100 days in office. In a speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Biden will likely emphasize his promises on the pandemic. Still, many expect he will deliver on his promises around immigration.