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A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020

A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020

At The Hill, we understand if you struggled to keep up with all of 2020’s memorable moments.

This year was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, the race for the White House, nationwide protests calling for widespread police reform and more.

But 2020 brought some lighter moments, too — from a security guard’s role in President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBudowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit DC might win US House vote if it tries Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman inks deal with IMG Models MORE’s campaign to mishaps in virtual congressional hearings, here are seven lighter moments from 2020 enjoyed by Americans that grabbed headlines:  

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1) Biden’s security guard selfie:

Just weeks into the year, President-elect Joe Biden went viral after taking a selfie with a security guard who candidly told him that he was her top pick among the crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls. 

Jacquelyn, a security guard at The New York Times who has not been identified by her last name, told the former vice president “I love you” and called him “awesome” before Biden’s meeting with the newspaper’s editorial board.

“You got a camera?” Biden asked the fan before snapping a selfie with her. 

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Jacquelyn would go on to formally nominate the president-elect at the Democratic National Convention in August. 

She called Biden “my friend” during a filmed segment at the convention. 

“In the short time I spent with Joe Biden, I could tell he really saw me, that he actually cared," Jacquelyn said.

 

2) A movement over chicken wings is born:  

Nebraska man Ander Christensen made headlines in September fighting for a cause he believes in – renaming boneless chicken wings.

During a memorable city council meeting in Lincoln, Neb., Christensen said in a passionate testimony that “We have been casually ignoring a problem that has gotten so out of control that our children are throwing around names and words without even understanding their true meaning.”

“I’m talking about boneless chicken wings,” he continued. “I propose that we as a city remove the name boneless wings from our menus and from our hearts.” 

Christensen argued that the meat in the dish does not necessarily come from a chicken’s wing and that boneless wings “are just chicken tenders, which are already boneless.” 

Christensen also suggested alternative names, like “saucy nuggs” or “trash.”

 

The Nebraska man hasn’t given up since his testimony went viral, continuing to urge officials and restaurants to change the name of boneless wings.

  

3) Politicians find a new campaign stop in ‘Animal Crossing’

With many in-person campaign events canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, politicians found new ways to reach voters, including in the video game “Animal Crossing.”

The game’s newest edition, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” spiked in popularity while many Americans were stuck inside under stay-at-home orders.

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In May, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBernie Sanders has been most-followed member of Congress on social media for six years Meghan McCain responds to Katie Couric: 'I don't need to be deprogrammed' Skepticism reigns as Biden, McConnell begin new era MORE (N.Y.) called on her Twitter followers to send her their “Dodo” code, the identifier that allows friends to “visit” islands within the game.

With her character wearing a customized “AOC” campaign shirt, Ocasio-Cortez made several “house calls,” exchanging fruit with fans and signing bulletin board notes in the interactive realm.

In September, the Biden campaign also created four campaign yard signs within the game.    

 

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4) Lawmaker dogs steal the show  

The dogs of lawmakers stole the spotlight throughout 2020. 

During a virtual hearing in May featuring top U.S. health officials, the dog of Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderCongress addressed surprise medical bills, but the issue is not resolved Trump renominates Judy Shelton in last-ditch bid to reshape Fed Senate swears-in six new lawmakers as 117th Congress convenes MORE (R-Tenn.), Rufus, was spotted sleeping behind the Republican lawmaker. 

Reporters were quick to joke about his zen-like nap during the high-profile hearing.

Alexander later said that “Rufus wasn’t impressed when I told him we were gonna be on national TV."  

The pup was also blamed for some barking heard during National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci was concerned people would do 'dangerous and foolish' things after Trump suggested injecting disinfectant GOP lawmaker wants to ban feds from funding collection of COVID-19 vaccine info Overnight Health Care: Biden says anyone who wants vaccine may be able to get it by spring | Moderna says vaccine effective on variants, but tests booster shot | California lifts regional stay-at-home order MORE’s testimony.

But Rufus wasn’t the only dog of a lawmaker to make headlines this year. Bailey, the dog of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTim Ryan says he's 'looking seriously' at running for Portman's Senate seat Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Skepticism reigns as Biden, McConnell begin new era MORE (D-Mass.), drew attention on Twitter after stealing a burrito on the day Warren announced the end of her presidential campaign.

"Bailey legit just swiped someone’s burrito," Gabrielle Farrell, a press secretary on Warren's campaign, tweeted alongside a video of the incident.

Warren later joked with MSNBC host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster MORE that Bailey is “a dog who stands up and says, 'I’m not waiting for someone to offer, I see what I wanted and I go straight after it.'”

 

5) Celebs, officials read books to children stuck at home during the pandemic  

After schools across the country went online during the coronavirus pandemic, a slate of politicians, leaders and celebrities were inspired to launch virtual reading series for kids stuck at home.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBen CarsonTrump's '1776 Report' released on MLK Day receives heavy backlash Biden has an opportunity to win over conservative Christians Ben Carson dismisses 25th Amendment talk: 'As a nation we need to heal' MORE read a weekly story to children staying at home over the summer.

Celebrities also used social media to read their favorite stories for kids during the pandemic. Country music legend Dolly Parton launched the 10-week “Goodnight with Dolly” series, which featured classics like “The Little Engine that Could.”

“I think it is pretty clear that now is the time to share a story and to share some love,” Parton said at the time. 

 

6) Anthony Fauci’s haywire first pitch

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, threw out the first pitch at Nationals Park in July as Washington, D.C.’s, home team kicked off its season against the New York Yankees.

The nation's top infectious disease doctor was honored with the first pitch amid his work on the White House coronavirus task force. 

However, when Fauci mounted the plate, his throw wasn't exactly a "strike." 

Many took to social media to jab the leading health expert after his pitch curved away from the catcher. 

 



Fauci later told The Wall Street Journal that his unique throw could be blamed on multiple factors, like injuring himself while practicing the pitch days before and miscalculating how far he needed to throw the ball. 
 
“I was stupid,” Fauci told the outlet. “I should’ve warmed up for 10 minutes.”

“When I saw [the pitcher] was so far away, I said I better try to throw a bullet,” he continued. “And that was a mistake.”

 

7) U.S. leaders get the coronavirus vaccine

Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by top U.S. health regulators, and bipartisan lawmakers and members of the White House have shared their experience receiving the inoculation.   

Some lawmakers, like Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate to vote Tuesday on Biden's secretary of State pick Leahy, not Roberts, to preside over impeachment trial Sunday shows preview: All eyes on Biden administration to tackle coronavirus MORE (D-Ky.) and Reps. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 Growing number of House Republicans warm to proxy voting MORE (D-Hawaii), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDemocrats poised to impeach Trump again Pence opposes removing Trump under 25th Amendment: reports Pelosi vows to impeach Trump again — if Pence doesn't remove him first MORE (D-Minn.) and Brian MastBrian Jeffrey MastTapper battles GOP lawmakers over criticism of Afghan vet's Electoral College vote Republican war veteran gives Guard troops a tour of the Capitol LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to impeach Trump after Capitol insurrection MORE (R-Fla.), have refused early access to the vaccine.  

However, other leaders eligible for the shot have publicly received their first dose in an effort to build public confidence. 

Vice President Pence became the first White House official to be vaccinated on live television on Dec. 18.

“Vigilance and the vaccine is our way through,” Pence said after receiving the shot at an event at the White House. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer: Impeachment trial will be quick, doesn't need a lot of witnesses McConnell: Power-sharing deal can proceed after Manchin, Sinema back filibuster Budowsky: A Biden-McConnell state of emergency summit MORE (R-Ky.), a survivor of polio, also received his COVID-19 vaccine. The leader tweeted after the shot that “vaccines are how we beat this virus.”

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOklahoma man who videotaped himself with his feet on desk in Pelosi's office during Capitol riot released on bond House formally sends impeachment to Senate, putting Trump on trial for Capitol riot With another caravan heading North, a closer look at our asylum law MORE (D-Calif.) received her vaccine and encouraged all people to “continue mask wearing, social distancing & other science-based steps to save lives and crush the virus.”

Biden and the next first lady Jill Biden also received the vaccine on television. Following his jab, the president-elect said that “I am doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine.”

“There’s nothing to worry about,” he continued.