CBS NEWSDecember 27, 2020, 9:17 AM
The year in review: Top news stories of 2020 month-by-month
On January 9, 2020, on the “CBS Morning News,” Anne-Marie Green reported about a new virus, related to SARS, that was possibly responsible for a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in China: “The new coronavirus was found in 15 of 59 patients with the illness. The virus is spread through coughing or sneezing or by touching an infected person.”
Little did we know what that news meant for the world back then. With just a few days left in this one-of-a-kind year, correspondent Lee Cowan takes a quick look back …
COVID reared its head in January. The very first case in the U.S. was a Washington State man who had travelled from the city of Wuhan in China, where it all started.
- First U.S. coronavirus patient had at least 16 close contacts before he was placed in isolation, officials say
- Americans evacuated from Wuhan are being tested for coronavirus at California air base (“CBS This Morning”)
- Facebook struggles to stem spread of coronavirus misinformation
- Susan Collins will vote to acquit Trump, saying he’s “learned” from impeachment (“CBS Evening News”)
- A defiant Trump takes grievance-filled victory lap at “celebration” of Senate acquittal
- Douglas Brinkley: Congress is to blame for an imperious presidency (“Sunday Morning”)
- Coronavirus may infect up to 70% of world’s population, expert warns (“CBS Evening News”)
- Coronavirus: How U.S. hospitals are preparing for COVID-19 (“60 Minutes”)
- Trump admitted to Woodward he downplayed coronavirus threat in early days of outbreak
Tensions over COVID took center stage in April, when armed demonstrators took to the Michigan State Capitol to protest stay-at-home orders.
- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says protests can lead to extension of stay-at-home orders
- Democratic governors ask White House for help calling off protesters
- Anti-vaxxers spread fear about future coronavirus vaccine (“CBS Evening News”)
- The world reacts as American cities erupt in anger over George Floyd’s death
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on racism in America: “Nothing has changed” in 30 years since Rodney King (“CBS This Morning”)
- Police officers kneel in solidarity with protesters in several U.S. cities
- Good police officers “can’t sit in complicit silence” about racial injustice, top prosecutor in St. Louis says
In June a peaceful protest near the White House was broken up in order to allow President Trump to pose outside a church holding a Bible.
- Trump says he’s “president of law and order,” declares aggressive action on violent protests
- Reverend says she was among peaceful protesters tear-gassed so Trump could “hold a Bible and look Christian”
- Barr defends decision to forcefully clear protesters near White House
- Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets appearing in Trump photo op
We got a bit of normalcy in July, when Major League Baseball finally returned, in front of cardboard cut-outs, but it was better than nothing.
- MLB releases shortened schedule amid coronavirus testing delays
- MLB commissioner confident league will get through season as more players opt out
As if 2020 weren’t hard enough, Hurricane Laura slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast in August – it was one of 12 named storms to hit the United States this season.
- Hurricane Laura strikes Louisiana, killing 6 and leaving a path of destruction
- Hurricane Laura survivor reacts to devastating wreckage of his childhood house: “Not going to be home anymore” (“CBS This Morning”)
- The record-shattering 2020 hurricane season, explained
September saw the makeup of the highest court in the land change, with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace her.
- Remembering RBG, a woman who lived a life defying expectations (“Sunday Morning”)
- How Ruth Bader Ginsburg became a “notorious” cultural icon (“CBS This Morning”)
- “I have no agenda”: Amy Coney Barrett refuses to speculate on political issues in Senate hearings
- Barrett joins Supreme Court with politically charged legal fights looming
- At least 25 people in Trump’s orbit have tested positive for COVID-19
- President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis shows why it’s “important to wear a mask,” doctor says (“CBS This Morning”)
- The world reacts to President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis
- Georgia leaders reject Trump’s push to overturn election results
- Supreme Court rejects Texas bid to overturn election results in four states
- Supreme Court rejects GOP bid to overturn Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania
Mercifully, the year ended with some positive news on COVID: the vaccines were finally here, much-needed shots-in-the-arm that will continue far into the New Year.
- COVID-19 vaccine breakthroughs: What happens now? (“Sunday Morning”)
- An inside look at how coronavirus vaccines will be distributed (“CBS Evening News”)
- One COVID-19 patient is dying every 10 minutes in Los Angeles County as officials fear post-Christmas surge (“CBS This Morning”)
Story produced by Julie Kracov. Editor: Chad Cardin.