A Guide to Biden’s Cabinet

Confirmed Cabinet Members:

  • Vice President Kamala D. Harris

Yes, the vice president is technically a cabinet member! Kamala Harris was sworn in on January 20, 2021, when she became the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president in American history. She now presides over the narrowly Democratic Senate, where she formerly served as a Senator from California. Before she became a Senator, she served as the attorney general of California.

  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Blinken, confirmed on January 26th, 2021, will serve as President Biden’s chief advisor on foreign policy. Before becoming Secretary of State, he served as deputy secretary of state, assistant to the president, and principal deputy national security advisor during the Obama administration. He is an avid guitar player, and to hear his latest single, you can follow him on Spotify at ‘Ablinken.’

  • Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen

Before she became the first woman to serve as treasury secretary, Janet Yellen was also the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve. From 1997-1999, during the Clinton administration, she also served as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

  • Secretary of Defense Gen. Lloyd Austin

General Austin is a retired Army general and was formerly the commander of the US Central Command. He was confirmed on January 22nd, 2021, and is the first African-American to oversee the Defense Department.

  • Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

You might recognize Secretary Buttigieg from his former stint as a presidential hopeful in the 2020 Democratic primary. Along with being the youngest member of Biden’s cabinet at 38 years old, he is also the first LBTQ+ cabinet secretary. The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor recently released his $1 trillion plan for improving the nation’s infrastructure.

  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas

Secretary Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to oversee the Department of Homeland Security. Under the Obama administration, he was deputy secretary of homeland security, where he oversaw the implementation of the DACA program, which protects young undocumented immigrants from being deported.

  • Denis McDonough – Secretary of Veterans Affairs

During former President Obama’s second term, McDonough served as chief of staff. He also served as deputy national security adviser. He is the second non-veteran to have served in the position.

Yet-To-Be Confirmed Nominees, as of February 10:

  • Merrick Garland – Attorney General

Merrick Garland has served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit since 1997, when he was nominated by Bill Clinton. He was nominated to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, however Senate Republicans prevented this from happening, and the seat was instead filled by Justice Neil Gorsuch. During his time as leader of the Justice Department, he will likely seek to depoliticize the office.

  • Deb Haaland – Secretary of the Interior

The congresswoman from New Mexico will make history as the first Native American cabinet secretary if confirmed. She will likely champion climate-related issues, as well as try to right wrongs done formerly by the department towards Indigenous peoples.

  • Tom Vilsack – Secretary of Agriculture

Tom Vilsack originally served in this position during the Obama administration, a position he held for all eight years of the administration’s tenure. During this time, he worked with former First Lady Michelle Obama to found the ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative and chaired the first-ever White House Rural Council. In 1998, he was elected governor of Iowa—the first Democrat to do so in over 30 years.

  • Gina Raimondo – Secretary of Commerce

Before she was nominated to represent American businesses as Secretary of Commerce, Gin

a Raimondo served as governor of Rhode Island, a position she has held since 2015. She also previously co-founded a venture capitalist firm called Point Judith Capital.

  • Marty Walsh – Secretary of Labor

Since 2014, Walsh has served as the mayor of Boston, where he focused on strengthening Boston’s schools and attempted to combat income inequality. He also led the Boston Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents electrician and ironworker unions.

  • Xavier Becerra – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Before his nomination, Becerra served as attorney general of California. During his time in this position, he championed efforts to defend the Affordable Care

Act in court, and will likely continue to hold his stance on healthcare throughout his time in the position.

  • Marcia Fudge – Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Marcia Fudge is a congresswoman from Ohio’s 11th district, and the former mayor of Warrensville Heights, Ohio. She also used to chair the Congressional Black Caucus.

  • Jennifer Granholm – Secretary of Energy

Jennifer Granholm previously served two terms as governor of Michigan, and before that, attorney general of Michigan. Because of her experience with the Michigan auto industry, she is expected to help President Biden with his plan to move the country toward electric vehicles.

  • Miguel Cardona – Secretary of Education

Cardona is the commissioner of education in the state of Connecticut, where his parents immigrated from Puerto Rico. He rose the ranks of the Connecticut public school system, starting as a fourth-grade teacher at Israel Putnam Elementary School. He has been vocal in his support of reopening schools.

— Blake Ciresa

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Minimum Age for a COVID-19 Vaccine

Should sixteen be the minimum age to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and why did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) make this decision?

There is a committee within the CDC called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). They advise the director of the CDC about the use of vaccines. The ACIP uses four maxims to guide decision making: maximizing benefits and minimizing harm, mitigating health inequities, promoting justice, and promoting transparency. These guidelines are in place so that people are given respect, equity, and care, populations are treated fairly, and the CDC’s decisions are clear and understandable. After the ACIP meets and deems the vaccine to meet their standard, the CDC publishes their vaccine recommendations.

The main reason why the COVID-19 vaccine is only available to people ages sixteen and up is because previous clinical trials for the vaccine have only been performed on that population. This may be subject to change once more information is discovered about how well the vaccine works. Clinical trials have begun on children ages twelve and above.

If you are sixteen or older, lucky you! You may soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination! Until then, and even after you get it, keep wearing masks and taking precautions to keep yourself and others safe.

— Vienna Gurev

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Black History Month: The Man Behind Martin Luther King, Jr

Left to Right: Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Aaron E. Henry, and Bayard Rustin

We all know Martin Luther King, Jr., the leader of the civil rights movement and who is considered to be one of its founders. But history has almost forgotten a key player in this battle. He was an openly gay man who helped organize racial justice movements including The Great March on Washington. His name was Bayard Rustin. Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1912, Rustin was raised by his Quaker grandparents. Unlike many people at the time, they supported his sexuality. He joined the communist party in 1937 when he studied at the College of New York, but he soon left as their focus shifted to promoting the Soviet Union instead of racial equality. This part of his life would have a huge impact on his career and social status, as many were wary of this fact. Rustin was a pacifist and was strongly against the Second World War and refused to register for the draft, ultimately leading to him being arrested in 1944. This would not be the first time he would be charged, as Rustin’s sexuality was often used against him. These types of incidents would lead to him being fired from the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a socialist group that promoted equality for all, except for gay people. This would lead him to meet Martin Luther King, Jr., through his friend Philip Randolph. Although Rustin was a trusted advisor for King around the 1950s, many considered him a liability. King started to distance himself from Rustin as threats from Adam Clayton Powell arose. It wouldn’t be until 1963 that Rustin would rejoin the movement. While threats were still made, they were quickly dismissed as King and other members started to openly support Rustin. Unfortunately, a year before the March on Washington, a decision was made to make Randolph lead instead of Rustin. This did not stop his activism for both racial equality and gay rights in the 1980s. In a later interview, Rustin said that “… it was an absolute necessity for me to declare homosexuality because if I didn’t I was a part of the prejudice.” He, unfortunately, died on August 24, 1987. Twenty-six years later, in 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his fight for racial equality.

See this video for more information about Bayard Rustin.

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Joe Biden: President and Local Legend

After what many have referred to as the most hectic American election cycle in centuries, involving controversial mail-in ballots, accusations of fraud, and riots all across the country, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. has officially been inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States of America.

As many people in the area know, Biden is quite a legend in southeastern PA and Delaware. Pictures of him with owners and proprietors of local restaurants are somewhat common. One such picture hangs on the wall of La Michoacana Ice Cream in downtown Kennett Square. Another picture in La Verona Italian Restaurant. However, Biden is more known for his history in Delaware than anything else.

Biden grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, before moving to Wilmington, Delaware, at a young age. He attended the Archmere Academy for high school. While he was never a top student, he was a star football player and was also elected president of both his junior and senior classes. After graduating from the University of Delaware and going on to law school, Biden eventually decided to pursue the Delaware senate seat. He won, but his wife and daughter were tragically killed in a car crash shortly after his victory. He considered resigning to take care of his two remaining sons but was eventually persuaded otherwise. Instead, he decided he would make the commute back and forth from Wilmington to Washington DC every day by Amtrak Train, so he could tuck his sons into bed. Soon, he got to know all the conductors and workers on the train, to the point where his nickname became “Amtrak Joe”.

Biden’s local legacy lives on in a variety of local institutions. The University of Delaware Public Policy school which he once attended bears his name. As does the Wilmington train station that Biden used for his daily commute. Eventually, a Presidential Library will, too.

Until then, all we can hope for is a stable and productive 4 years. Maybe Biden will give Kennett another visit, too!

— Martin Heintzelman

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How to Feel More Connected During Covid

It is safe to say that we all have felt detached from the world around us over the last 10 months since Covid began. It can be very hard to stay in touch with our friends, family, teachers, etc.—almost like every day is the same continuous cycle. You are not alone. We are all experiencing this pandemic for the first time together, so whatever you’re going through right now, you are not the only one feeling that way. That emotion of “time is going by so fast” is not uncommon, and I hope you can find ways to stay more connected through this article.

First off, we are all on our devices every single day. Going to school and teaching from home, isolated, is not a pleasant thing to have to endure. After you are done with your remote work for the day, it’s easy to just want to go watch Netflix or scroll through social media. However, I have found it helpful to try to get engaged in more activities that benefit your mind. When you are on social media, you’re immediately comparing yourself to everyone else whether you notice it or not. That’s not fun. One thing I have started doing is yoga. Stretching and working out can release that tension and anxiety you have been holding onto all day. Another helpful thing is getting outdoors. Take your dog for a walk or just walk around your neighborhood by yourself and enjoy the present moment. Or, you could find a new book series to get wrapped up into. Our library has a lot of selections to choose from, or you could order a book online. A lot of people say that they aren’t readers, but once they find a genre that interests them, it’s easy to change your mindset.

Secondly, a lot of us tend to stress about the future weeks to come. Obsessing over what could happen is pointless, and it will save you a lot of energy if you try to concentrate on the ‘now’. Write down your goals for the day and check them off as you get them done. That will help you feel more motivated and proud of yourself once you have completed what you need to do. Just take it day by day, and I can assure you that it will make you feel more accomplished and in control of yourself. Journaling is something that could also help. It sounds silly at first, but once you get into the habit of writing about your day or things that are on your mind, it will help with organizing your thoughts so it’s not so overwhelming. There are so many things going on constantly, and getting inside your own head can be very frustrating.

Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have days where we just want to lay in bed and do nothing, and that is perfectly okay. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be perfect because we are human and humans are meant to make mistakes. It may be hard to start incorporating these kinds of activities into your daily routine, but once you start, the habit will get easier. Don’t forget that there are always people here to help you and talk to you as well. None of us has ever had to deal with something like this before, so give yourself some leeway and be proud of how much you have grown!

— Sierra Tellman

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Inaugural Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

On Wednesday, January 20, the twenty-two-year-old poet Amanda Gorman spoke as President Biden’s inaugural poet laureate. This remarkable young woman inspired the inaugural audience with her eloquence and grace.

Gorman was born in Los Angeles, California, and was raised by her single mother, Joan Wicks. She has two siblings, including a twin sister named Gabrielle. She attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude, and majored in sociology.

Gorman has a speech impediment and auditory processing disorder called rhotacism. It specifically concerns pronouncing “r”s in words. After years of speech therapy and practice, Gorman overcame her speech impediment and is able to speak clearly in front of a crowd.

First lady Dr. Jill Biden first heard Amanda Gorman speak at the Library of Congress in 2017. Three years later, Biden knew she had to contact Gorman to be the inaugural poet laureate.

Gorman read her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” live to millions of people across the nation. She received recognition, not just from President and First Lady Biden themselves, but from celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Oprah, and Lady Gaga.

Amanda Gorman inspires girls to be radiant, creative, and well-spoken. As she said in the inaugural poem, “If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy, and change our children’s birthright.”

— Vienna Gurev

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Letter from the Editor

Hey Blue Demons!

Welcome to the new Kennett High School student journalism website! KTV and the Demon Press have teamed up to create a place for you.

This is the place to go to find the latest KTV episodes and your favourite segments—anyone else excited to bring back Nate Asks People Stuff someday? You will also find news articles written by our classmates about topics relevant to us, updated on a weekly basis.

The content here is created by and for students. The talented teams at Demon Press and KTV will cover school news, local news, and beyond, tailored to you in an easily-navigable format.

I know that some of you might not have known that KHS even had a newspaper, but we’re here and ready for you to discover and enjoy.

If you’re looking for entertainment, information, and Demon Pride, look no further: the Blue Demons journalism website has it all!

Rhiannon Stewart

Editor-in-Chief

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