News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Virginia Rally, Senate Impeachment Trial, and the SAG Awards

Virginia rally
Getty Images
Jan 21, 2020


The Story

Tens of thousands of people descended onto Virginia's state Capitol.

And this is about...?

Gun rights. Reminder: Democrats won control of the state legislature in November. And have since worked to pass gun-control legislation (think: background checks, limits on gun purchases). Yesterday, people from across the country – as many as 22,000 – showed up in Richmond for Lobby Day to protest the proposed legislation.

And how'd it go?

Peacefully. There had been fears of violence after law enforcement identified credible threats, reportedly similar to what they'd seen before the deadly Charlottesville rally in 2017. So in anticipation of this rally, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and a temporary ban on weapons on the Capitol grounds. But there were no reports of violence yesterday, as some protesters carried guns or otherwise showed their support for the Second Amendment.

What was the response?

Northam, who vowed to pass new gun control laws after a gunman killed 12 people at Virginia Beach last year, praised the lack of violence, saying it "showed that when people disagree, they can do so peacefully." Democratic lawmakers reportedly said the rally wasn't going to affect their plans to pass these measures. Meanwhile, President Trump showed his support for protesters, urging them to "vote Republican in 2020" to prevent the Democratic Party from taking away "your 2nd Amendment rights."


Virginia's rally became a focal point for gun-rights activists across the country. Some used it as a way to mark their disapproval of the recent wave of proposed gun restriction laws that could pass across the US.


What you'll be hearing a lot more about this week…

President Trump's impeachment trial. Today, senators will vote on a resolution about the trial rules, brought by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). It calls for opening arguments to begin tomorrow at 1pm ET, and gives impeachment managers and Trump's legal team 24 hours each to present their sides. The Senate will also vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and more documents, something Dems fought for.

  • A preview: Trump's legal team is arguing that the Senate should reject the impeachment articles, calling them "rigged," "political," and an "affront" to the Constitution. Meanwhile, Democrats repping the House's case against Trump said the president's actions vis-à-vis Ukraine amounted to "the Framers' worst nightmare."

What has public health experts worried…

This coronavirus. Yesterday, China released some info on a new virus outbreak that has killed at least six people and infected more than 300 others. The pneumonia-like virus can be spread from person to person and is eerily similar to SARS – a respiratory virus that infected more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in the early 2000s. The World Health Organization is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow to determine if the outbreak is an international health emergency.

  • Meanwhile, the timing is...: concerning. Lunar New Year is around the corner, when almost 3 billion trips are expected as people travel to see their families. It's the largest annual human migration on Earth. And news that this virus can be passed from human to human has experts worried this could spread further.

  • And the response is...: containment. China's called for every possible measure to control the outbreak. Meanwhile, some major international airports – including in the US – have started screening passengers from China for the virus.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story contained an error, which has since been updated.

What's raising questions and eyebrows…

This report. Yesterday, Oxfam (a nonprofit focused on ending poverty) released a global wealth report ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. The report says that the world's 2,153 billionaires control more wealth than the poorest 4.6 billion people combined. And that the 22 richest men in the world have more wealth than all of the women in Africa. It blames governments (including the US) for not doing enough to address economic inequality. The report suggests govs should ensure that the wealthy "pay their fair share" and invest in public services and infrastructure to "tackle the huge amount of care work done by women and girls."

Skimm More: Our guide explains how unequal wealth is in the US, and how we got here.

What's seeing double…

The New York Times. In a first for the newspaper, its editorial board just endorsed two Democratic candidates for president: Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). The Times chose them as top picks to rep the centrist and progressive wings of the Democratic party, respectively.

Why some of your friends are searching for a buffalo chicken dip recipe…

Super Bowl LIV. Save the date for Feb 2, when the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers will battle it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and bragging rights.

Skimm More: Want a heads-up on big games like the Super Bowl? theSkimm app syncs our calendar with yours so you don't miss major sports events, holidays, movie premieres, and more. Download the app now and start your free trial.

Where parasites are actually welcome...

This year's award season.

Live Smarter

Sign up for the Daily Skimm email newsletter. Delivered to your inbox every morning and prepares you for your day in minutes.