For the last 10 months, the attention of Americans has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential elections, both of which entered new chapters on Monday.
"When future historians close the books on the misery of 2020, a grueling year of disease, death, racial strife, street violence, economic collapse and political discord the likes of which have not been seen in the United States in generations, they may look back on Monday, Dec. 14, as a pivotal juncture," New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker reported.
"It was on that day that Americans began rolling up their sleeves for a vaccine produced in record time to defeat a virus even as the death toll crossed 300,000. And it was on that day that members of the Electoral College gathered in each of the 50 states to ratify the end of the most polarized election in more than a century," he noted. "None of that erases the enormous damage of the past 12 months, nor does it mean there will not be pain and protest to come. Many Americans will get sick and die in the months before the vaccine is universally available. Many Americans will remain aggrieved by the result of an election they wish had gone the other way. It is still an era of hardship and division. But after so much uncertainty, after so much doubt, the way forward appears clearer at least in two major respects."
Baker interviewed longtime Republican election lawyer Benjamin L. Ginsberg, who has been critical of Trump's efforts to overturn the election.
"It is a cosmic convergence,” said Ginsberg. “And what’s good about both of the events occurring on the same day is it really can provide a turning point for a nation that really wants a turning point.”
Yuval Levin of the conservative American Enterprise Institute also saw the day as momentous.
“This day feels like a turning point because in both cases we have reality breaking through — a legally mandated deadline to end the election cycle being met in an orderly way and a carefully reviewed and tested vaccine being brought into general use,” Levin explained.
"When future historians close the books on the misery of 2020," @peterbakerNYT writes. "They may look back on Monda… https://t.co/Tk8qe0lnoe— NYT Politics (@NYT Politics)1608000846.0