The Response to, Handling of, and Trajectory of the Pandemic Should Be A Top Consideration this General Election

Americans in many states are already voting.

In the course of over 3 ½ years there are many issues from immigration to trade to weigh before voters make their final decision in the General Election. In any ordinary election year, the “referendum” to boot or keep a president seeking reelection would normally be very basic – based mostly on the health of the economy.

Late this election season came a bit of a surprise.

A top consideration for Conservatives voting in 2016 that kept Never Trump Republicans from bolting the party (and gave Trump the margin to win) is once again an issue. What? Filling the Supreme Court’s vacancy. A replacement for the deceased Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is being deliberated at this very moment.

While this is being pushed off by Trump as a top consideration for Conservatives again – what worked in the past, he wants to replicate – truth is there is already a stacked conservative majority at SCOTUS and it will not be a deciding factor as it was in 2016.

Then there is the matter of the old-guard Republicans (Wall Street Bush-type elitists, the Lincoln Project types, the George Will conservatives). Certainly they want their party back and feel Trumpism has gotten out of hand. In just a few days, they have been sending off dog whistles of their own to their own, to abandon Trump in the General.

Just days ago Goldman Sachs’ chief economist gave glowing positives on the economy should Biden win. It’s Goldman Sachs! Insiders know where true power comes from, and when they speak.

Wall Street also frowned upon Trump putting off the latest stimulation package until after the election. Now he’s back peddling.

Truth be told, free market capitalists are just as fearful of dictatorship and chaos as liberals. Handing over the presidency to Democrats for four years, to old-guard Republicans, would be worth it since one, Biden is a moderate, and two, they’ll have time to regroup, rebuild.

Referendum on Trump will center on the pandemic
While there are interest group after interest group that collectively could impact the General, the outcome ultimately will be decided on how the President handled or mishandled COVID-19.

2020 came and unleashed a surprise crisis like no other. Based on the current infectious and death stats to date (7.5 million cases, over 215,000 deaths) and the state of the U.S. economy (worst recession ever since the Great Depression) Trump’s job performance on COVID-19 could be summed up as a complete failure.

When the pandemic broke out, there were brief signs of bipartisanship that he missed the opportunity to build on. There was a major bipartisan stimulus package that passed quickly. The second one, not as quickly. Both parties took credit for both. But the President wasn’t about to share the limelight.

He reverted to his old playbook, appealed to his base, turned what should have been a united front to combat the virus (as other countries have managed to do) into politics and dangerous mixed-messaging.

The President’s leadership to COVID-19 has been so disturbing that for a very first time since it was founded 200+ years ago, the prestigious, non-political New England Journal of Medicine gave a blistering editorial criticizing the President’s handling of the pandemic and called for Trump to be voted out from office.

After 215,000 deaths and months into the pandemic Trump is still comparing COVID-19 to the flu. The use of masks in public and social distancing, both that are already established to be effective in stopping the spread of the virus, are still not regularly and steadily promoted by the President. On rare occasions that he would encourage mask use, his message would be undermined by his public appearances, rallies, WH events that showed him and his supporters practicing unsafe distancing and without them wearing a mask.

If there were consensus on mask use and social distancing alone, if they weren’t politicized often by the President, so many lives could have been prevented, experts say.

What started out as a crisis, turned into missed opportunities over and over, and now has become full-blown tragedy. The consequence has been lasting economic hardship – unnecessarily.

Even more disturbing is that other countries that have been hit by the virus earlier could have been used as models of what to do and what not to do. Many of those countries have a lid on the virus for the most part, and probably spent far less in resources than the U.S.

In the early coronavirus days, instead of utilizing the expertise of international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) which have collected valuable data and models from countries earlier hit from coronavirus, Trump uses WHO as a scapegoat, and terminates the U.S. relationship with WHO.

The President has brought in top credible experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, but Trump often disregards, undervalues and undercuts not just Dr. Fauci’s recommendations, but other experts as well. At the same time, the president hosts at the WH meetings with charlatans wanting to promote alternative, non-scientifically proven drugs and supplements.

He’s even had his top communications official Michael Caputo say that scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were conspiring against him and engaged in “sedition.”

It has always been about intimidation with this president to get what he wants and go after those who go against him. Scientists and doctors could be armed with the facts, data, and truth about COVID-19, but no matter, politics come first for Trump.

It’s critical that voters consider the President’s handling of COVID in the General. He’s had months to show Americans what he’s capable of. Ask yourself: “Is much of the same what our nation deserves?

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