My day has been pretty jam-packed. We’re going to get right to it, except for an update on my chair…it’s still fantastic and I am still really stoked about it. Though admitting that I am on my second day of glee over this simple thing is sure to lead to ridicule by those nearest and dearest to me, it’s still worth it.
It is still the high point of my week.
And now, onto our 5 Things.
1) For a while now, President Donald Trump has been making comments that raise questions about whether he will accept the results of the Nov. 3rd election if it doesn’t go his way. Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell assured America that no matter the outcome of the presidential contest, the transition of power will occur and be smooth.
This was likely spurred by Trump’s performance yesterday, during which he suggested that the Supreme Court would likely have to the settle the question of who wins at the ballot box.
Especially in light of the battle over whether to fill the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, these were fighting words for the Democrats, who instantly went on the attack.
Though Republican leaders did not go so far as actually to condemn the president, many have spoken out and guaranteed that the law of the land as outlined in the U.S. Constitution followed, no matter what. McConnell tweeted to his followers that keeping up with every transition since 1792; the Nov. 3 victor will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. The switchover, if there is one, will be comfortable, cooperative, and peaceful, he insisted.
This is not the first time Trump has attempted to imply that there is no way he could legally and rightfully be defeated. However, as most public polls show him trailing his Democratic opponent, former VP Joe Biden, Trump’s rhetoric along these lines is getting more frequent and strident.
Some Republicans are supporting Trump’s view, implying that the left needs to commit to a peaceful transition if he is victorious as well.
If the election is indeed close, SCOTUS could decide where states’ electoral votes are awarded. This is reigniting calls to end the Electoral College as an outdated system.
2) There is a supposed new viral challenge going around, wildly popular on TikTok, about which the FDA is greatly concerned, warning that the rumored stunt is risky and could lead to severe health issues, including hospitalization and possible death.
The stunt is known as the “Benadryl Challenge” and involves ingesting high doses of the medicine to induce hallucinations.
Though there are some local reports of victims across the country, there is no evidence that the challenge is truly trending. TikTok has disabled the hashtags #Benadryl and #BenadrylChallenge in an effort to curb this problem.
The FDA is investigating and will provide updates as new information comes to light.
Please be smart and do not participate in any such challenge. It is dangerous, potentially life-threatening, and just plain dumb.
3) Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will establish a task force to review any coronavirus vaccine approved by the federal government. The task force will be comprised of doctors, top health experts, and scientists.
Cuomo is establishing this task force because he is concerned that the vaccine development process has become overly politicized. The task force, he said, will be charged with evaluating the effectiveness of any approved vaccines, and also its safety.
The task force will also work on the guidelines within the state for the procurement and distribution of any approved vaccines. Cuomo said he hopes New York can lead in the way in how vaccine distribution occurs, noting the state has already been a model for handling the COVID pandemic, (though some of his critics beg to differ on this point).
4) The Troy Police Department made an arrest today in the slaying of 11-year old Lansingburgh student Ayshawn Davis. Jahquay E. Brown, 20, of Cohoes was arrested at 11:30 a.m., and TPD Chief Dan DeWolf executed a search warrant at his home at 324 Saratoga St. He was charged with second-degree murder.
During the search, DeWolf said, a handgun was found and taken into evidence. Though testing results are pending, police believe they located the gun used in the drive-by shooting in which Ayshawn was inadvertently killed. TPD detectives interrogated Brown before they took him for his arraignment in Troy City Court.
TPD worked around the clock to investigate the case, but credit other authorities for assisting in the events that led up to this morning’s arrest – especially the State Police Investigations Unit. All told, rewards for information leading to the arrest of Ayshawn’s killer totaled $25,000.
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden expressed relief that the killer of the much-loved pre-teen appears to have been caught. He thanked all those involved in the investigation and again expressed his deep sympathy for Ayshawn’s family.
According to the TPD, this is still an ongoing investigation.
5) According to the Colonie Police Department, there will be a new gas main being put in by maintenance crews on the Latham Ridge Road. Beginning today, that part of the road will be closed for the work.
According to the released the CPD put out, the portion of Latham Ridge Road that is along where the gas main will be going will be shut down to all traffic in both directions between Mercer Ave. and Da Vinci Place. The road will be closed during regular business hours, but fully open nights and weekends.
Stay steady, stay strong, stay safe.
Photo credit: Brian Hogan.