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News Brief: Week of Feb. 16-22


Sanders takes lead in Democratic primaries 

The 2020 Democratic primaries are well underway, with Bernie Sanders taking a lead and other candidates trailing close behind.

Most recently, Sanders won the Nevada caucuses, with Joe Biden coming in second and Pete Buttigieg in third. 

“We are bringing our people together,” Sanders said following his win. “In Nevada, we have just brought together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition which is not only going to win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country.”

As of Sunday, Feb. 23, Sanders holds 34 delegates, followed by Buttigieg with 22 and Biden and Elizabeth Warren with eight each. With presidential primaries taking place until June of this year, the race is still in its early stages.

To secure the Democratic nomination, a candidate must win a majority of 1991 delegates. However, sometimes the candidate with the most number of nominations ends up winning the nominations if no candidate wins the outright delegate majority.

Oklahoma’s primaries will occur on Tuesday, Mar. 3, also known as Super Tuesday, when 15 jurisdictions will conduct their primaries, the largest amount on a single day. 

Coronavirus update

The number of United States citizens testing positive for coronavirus has jumped to 35 following the evacuation of a cruise ship where hundreds were infected.

At least 18 Americans who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship which was quarantined on the coast of Japan have tested positive for coronavirus and are under quarantine. More than 300 American passengers aboard the ship were flown home for quarantine.

New cases were also reported in California from two travelers located in Humboldt County and Sacramento County. The remainder of American cases were reported beginning Jan. 21, coming from travelers to China, two of whom passed the virus to their spouse.

As of Sunday, Feb. 23, nearly 80,000 cases have been reported worldwide, primarily in China. In addition, the death toll has risen to 2,465 worldwide. 

According to Politico, the White House will ask Congress in the coming week for emergency funds in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The funding could go to developing vaccines or laboratory testing. 


Edmond man who killed parents to stand trial

An Edmond man accused in the March 2019 killings of his own parents was ordered to stand trial for two counts of first-degree murder and a count of possession of an explosive device on Friday, Feb. 21.

Michael Elijah Walker, 20, is accused of killing his parents Michael Logan Walker, 50, and Rachel May Walker, 44. According to police, he shot the two “because they were sending him messages telepathically and they were Satan worshippers.”

Walker’s attorney said his client is not guilty by reason of mental illness; a psychiatrist found Walker mentally competent to stand trial in December 2019. 

Pete Buttigieg to make campaign stop in OKC

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will make a campaign stop in Oklahoma City the day before the state’s primary election.

The former mayor of South Bend, IN, will make his visit to Oklahoma City on Monday, Mar. 2. The doors to the event are scheduled to open at 11:45 a.m., however, no location for the event has been announced.

This marks Buttigieg’s first visit to the state. Candidates Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have previously visited Oklahoma for campaign stops.

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