Outside Iona

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

Throughout our hectic student lives, we should always remain aware of what is happening around us. In this column, I find some of the most significant things around us and provide you with a small blurb and nitty-gritty details. Here are some of the major events that have been taking place: 


General COVID-19 Update. 

Even as cases of the Delta variant begin to slow down across the country, many people fear the upcoming winter. Hospitalizations and deaths are in the decline in the U.S., but the country has surpassed 700,000 COVID deaths despite vaccines being readily available. An estimated 70 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated.  

Data has shown there is a partisan gap in vaccine rates. COVID cases are now concentrated in red states in what has been referred to as “Red COVID”. Almost all strong blue states have a higher vaccination rate than strong red states. A poll from the Pew Center discovered that 86% of Democratic voters received at least one shot, compared with 60% of Republican voters.  

Last Friday, it was announced that Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics created an antiviral pill against COVID-19. The companies claim that the pill can reduce the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death by 50%. If approved by the FDA, the pill will be the first of its kind to combat the virus.  


Information from NPR, New York Times, and CNN.  


U.S. government at risk of defaulting on debt.  

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen estimates that the federal government will run out of money and extraordinary measures by Oct. 18 unless Congress raises the debt ceiling. The government is at risk of defaulting on its debt, which could tank markets and the economy and defer payments to millions of citizens.  

If Congress fails to raise the limit, the Treasury will not have the ability to pay all of its bills. Republicans voted for a bill that would suspend the debit limit. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell wants to raise the debt ceiling by a lengthy process known as reconciliation. Democrats believe this plan is risky with no decisions made and no clear plan.  


Information from CNN and the Washington Post.  

Haitian migrant crisis. 

Various crises in Hati , including the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, a devastating earthquake and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, have led to a surge of migrants. More than 12,000 migrants have been deported from the U.S. border in Texas, with many more deportations being scheduled.  

Controversy arose when photos that appeared to show a border police officer whipping a migrant invoked symbolism of slavery. Horse patrols at the border were imminently suspended after the photos, and officials stated that their behavior was unacceptable.  

The White House has denied comparisons to the previous administration’s policy on immigration, stating that President Biden has reversed harsh tactics. The U.S. is collaborating with the Mexican government to deal with the crisis. According to an official at the Department of Homeland Security, the migrants’ arrival was a surprise. Yet, the mass deportations will be only a temporary solution as conditions will begin to worsen.  


Information from Council on Foreign Relations and CNN.  



General COVID-19 Update 





US government at risk of defaulting on debt 




Haitian migrant crisis