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Below, our writers and editors process what was only the first week of 2021.
1. An attack on the U.S. Capitol—and its fallout
A pro-Trump mob, indulging some kind of superhero fantasy, swiftly took the building. The inaction of Capitol Police toward them was by design, the historian Kellie Carter Jackson writes: “Police brutality against Black Americans and police inaction toward white Americans is not some surprising anomaly; it is the status quo.”
Meanwhile, a single image (pictured above) told the whole story, Clint Smith writes.
2. A pandemic at its worst yet
For the first time, the daily death toll from COVID-19 crossed 4,000, according to yesterday’s data from our colleagues at the COVID Tracking Project. Hospitalizations also reached a new peak this week.
The first stage of the vaccine rollout is not going to plan—and it will get only more challenging from here, my colleague Sarah Zhang reports.