Keeping Score: Nancy Pelosi on ‘Fumigating’ the White House

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

Lest We Forget

+ After the death of civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis on July 17, there was an outpouring of thanks for the work he did for the country. Some, like Jamira Burley, connected the icon’s passing to the work still left to do:

+ “Whether he [Donald Trump] knows it yet or not, he will be leaving. Just because he might not want to move out of the White House doesn’t mean we won’t have an inauguration ceremony to inaugurate a duly-elected president of the United States … But there is a process. It has nothing to do with the certain occupant of the White House doesn’t feel like moving and has to be fumigated out of there because the presidency is the presidency. It’s not geography or location.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on “Morning Joe”

+ After Representative Ted Yoho accosted Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the Capitol on July 20, some recognized a pattern:


+ Joanna Cole, the author of the beloved “Magic School Bus” series, died on July 12 at the age of 75. According to Scholastic, the prolific writer authored more than 250 books for children. Cole’s last book, “The Magic School Bus Explores Human Evolution,” was completed just before she passed away and is set for publication next year. The science that Cole worked into her books, from hurricanes to fossils to deep-sea habitats, was made so fun for children, they hardly realized they were learning. 

+ Mae Krier, one of the original models for “Rosie the Riveter,” is making red polka dot face masks for the new “war” we’re fighting against COVID-19. Those interested can request their own Mae-made mask on her Facebook page.

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+ Greta Thunberg will be donating the $1.14 million prize she received from the Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity award. $114,000 will go to SOS Amazonia, an environmental nonprofit currently fighting to protect indigenous Amazonian groups from COVID-19; $114,000 will go towards the Stop Ecocide Foundation, dedicated to making environmental destruction an internationally criminal act; and the rest to The Greta Thunberg Foundation, a philanthropic org supporting climate activism.

+ The Army Reserve will be led by a woman for the first time ever. Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels is making history for the 112-year-old organization, which has the highest percentage of female soldiers of any military component, at one in five. The Navy Reserve and Air Force Reserve have both been led by women.

+ Cal State universities undergraduates, the country’s largest public university group, must take an ethnic studies or social justice class as part of graduation requirements.

Keeping Score: Nancy Pelosi on 'Fumigating' the White House
(@calstatela / Instagram)

+ The House of Representatives passed the National Museum of the American Latino Act, a bill that would create a Latino Smithsonian museum on the National Mall. The vote was presided over by Rep. Nydia Velázquez, the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in Congress.

How We’re Doing

+ According to data released from the University of California, Latinos became the largest group of accepted prospective freshmen for the university’s incoming class. An historic 36 percent of the 79,953 California students offered admission were Latino, with Asian students close behind at 35 percent.

“These numbers are an important and gratifying indication that our efforts to advance and expand the diversity of our undergraduate student body are beginning to bear fruit,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said, as quoted in the Los Angeles Times. “But now, more than ever, we must not be complacent, and remain focused on building a campus community that truly represents the state we serve.”

+ According to a survey conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, 34 percent of women have reported that they plan to either delay pregnancy or have fewer children in light of the COVID-19. At the same time, 29 percent of white women, 38 percent of Black women and 45 percent of Latinas report a greater struggle to access birth control during the pandemic.

+ A new study shows that the number of unintended pregnancies that result in abortion has fallen in places around the world where it is legal; by contrast, the rate has risen in countries that have criminalized abortion.

About and

Caroline Cook is a communications strategist based in San Francisco. Tell Them to Be Quiet and Wait is her first novel. Her work has also appeared in McSweeney's and Lady Science Magazine. Connect with her on Twitter or Instagram at @caroline_e_cook.
Sarah Montgomery is a senior at USC. She is passionate about using writing as a tool for social change. Her Starbucks beverage of choice is the iced skinny vanilla latte—personal cup and reusable straw, of course.