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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 BidenVirginia GOP gubernatorial nominee acknowledges Biden was 'legitimately' elected BuzzFeed News finds Biden's private Venmo account Kid reporter who interviewed Obama dies at 23 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-CortezSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' Deleted video shows Greene taunting Ocasio-Cortez's office in 2019 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 AlexanderThe Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality 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: COVID-19 vaccine could lead to 'breakthrough' in HIV fight GOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' Trump bemoans lack of vaccine credit amid mask news 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 WarrenSanders: Netanyahu has cultivated 'racist nationalism' Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy Warren says Republican Party 'eating itself and it is discovering that the meal is poisonous' 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 works to balance a divided caucus's demands Matt Taibbi: Rachel Maddow has become the new Bill O'Reilly Ocasio-Cortez eyeing T over 10 years for infrastructure 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 CarsonGovernment indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong Noem takes pledge to restore 'patriotic education' in schools Watchdog blames Puerto Rico hurricane relief delays on Trump-era bureaucracy 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 PaulGOP lawmaker calls for Wuhan probe to 'prevent the next pandemic' All congressional Democrats say they have been vaccinated: CNN Fauci on Rand Paul: 'I just don't understand what the problem is with him' MORE (D-Ky.) and Reps. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Tulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' MORE (D-Hawaii), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDeleted video shows Greene taunting Ocasio-Cortez's office in 2019 Tensions mount among Democrats over US-Israel policy Project Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report 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 McConnellFormer OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden Lawmakers reach agreement on bipartisan Jan. 6 commission The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Masks off: CDC greenlights return to normal for vaccinated Americans 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 PelosiGohmert says Jan. 6 mob attack on Capitol not an 'armed insurrection' Meghan McCain: Greene 'behaving like an animal' GOP Rep. Turner to lead House push to address military sexual assault 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.