Voting, Hurricane Delta, and Supreme Court hearings, and more: 5 things you need to know for the week of October 19, 2020

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at a rally.

The aftermath of Hurricane Delta

Hurricane Delta, a powerful category-4 hurricane that weakened to a tropical storm hit Louisiana on Oct. 12. This storm has caused extreme damages to the Louisiana area, and many residents are experiencing power outages. The storm has killed four people, with many injuries. It is the fourth major storm to hit Louisiana this year, and the tenth major storm to hit the United States as a nation.

Early voting

Early voting in Texas began on Oct. 13, as we get closer to Election Day in November. The Houston Chronicle reported that Texas turned out over one million voters on the first day of early voting (as of Sunday, that total is over four million), but critics say that they aren’t sure that these high numbers will stay consistent throughout the rest of the election season. 

Amy Conan Barrett Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Amy Conan Barrett, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has been going through a confirmation hearing by the 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for the past 2 weeks. During this hearing, senators asked questions about controversial issues like climate change, arbortion, gun rights, and more, in hopes to understand what her views and rulings as a Supreme Court Judge would be. So far, Barrett has sat through over 20 hours of the hearing.The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Barrett’s nomination on Oct. 22, then the full Senate will vote. If the vote goes through both groups before Nov. 3, then Barrett will become a member of the Supreme Court.

New COVID-19 testing program for schools

On Oct. 14, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the Rapid Testing Pilot Program, according to the Texas Tribune. The program is reported to be a new form of rapid COVID-19 testing, that would shorten the testing process from 2-5 days to 15-minutes. The tests are nasal swag, cost $5 each, and are the size of a credit card. While the tests are fast, they are less effective than other coronavirus tests because they are prone to delivering false positive results. Eight Texas school systems will receive testing equipment so that they can test the program with students. If the program proves to be successful, this could be another step in COVID-19 testing efforts.

Donald Trump and Joe Biden town hall meetings

President Donald Trump and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden both held town halls on Oct. 15. They both held their town halls at the same time, causing voters to decide between which one they’d like to see. During Biden’s town hall, events like fracking, transgender policies, and tax cuts. Trump’s town hall mainly focused on his coronavirus diagnosis and recovery, his tax returns, and the importance of face masks.