How COVID-19 affects the platforms of the coming presidential election

Victoria Gill-Gomez

Opinion Editor

This outbreak is causing citizens to fight for their basic human rights like medical care, food, shelter, and so forth.

“The outbreak could be the turning point at which the public begins to question the fundamentals of the American health care system,” according to an ABC News article.

There are rent strikes happening in major cities, a record number of individuals applying for unemployment, and limited hospital beds for the sick. While citizens of the world are making room for positive change and self-growth, there is also discussion about growth for the nation. There are approximately 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. currently.

While many employment opportunities, community gatherings, and social events are being postponed or cancelled, and several have pushed back their voting registration and the primaries. Being so close to the next presidential election, what should come next in the aid of our federal government has been the highlighted topic of the two running Democrat candidates: former vice president Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Like the lives of every other citizen moving inside and online, virtual campaigning is on the rise, and according to ABC News, it brings in mixed results for everyone including President Trump. Virtual town halls are reported to have had technical problems, at least for Biden.

The former vice president has had experience with pandemics during the Obama administration. However, President Trump recently stated, as reported in a Washington Post article, some criticism to the Obama/Biden administration’s handling of the 2009 Swine Flu with the comparison that his response to the COVID-19 has been “one of the best.”

However, in recent presidential debates, Biden is said to be “more comfortable talking about the emergency than systemic problems” as stated by his opponent, Bernie Sanders in The New Yorker. The same could be said of President Trump.

Sanders believes that “details make a difference,” he told The New Yorker. An independent who often votes Democrat, this candidate’s campaign is described by People as an “underdog effort” that has gained national support after his previous 2016 loss of nomination against Hillary Clinton. Known for his liberal policies of universal health care and free public college, he has gained traction from a younger generation of voters that, albeit, is a huge percentage of the population who do not vote.

“We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction,” Sanders said, reported by ABC News.

This has definitely been the case with President Trump consistently addressing COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus.”

Incapable of heeding the warnings of scientific fact, the American people and those visiting are captive to the demands of his ego. Even recently, his press release stated that the CDC encourages those who are healthy and leaving the house to wear a face mask as well. Trump promotes this personally as a “recommendation.”

The nonstop media coverage on news outlets and social media awareness acknowledges that this is ignorant and selfish to those working to stop further harm caused by the virus. To have a world leader require federal changes to public health but refuse to personally take this heeding for himself shows this “do as I say, not as I do” dilemma.

President Trump is minimizing the scale of this issue and its precautions.

“Public-health officials worry that the consequences of living with a President and a general disinformation universe that undermine facts and science could have increasingly dire consequences. He is serving no one well,” according to The New Yorker.

Trump’s signature issues deal with rigid regulations of interaction with another country’s trade deals. He believes, in an authoritarian way, people are looking to him for safety and solace during a world event that is taking lives and hope for a substantial future. With this, he is capable of mobilizing an army to re-elect him, which should not be the case.

I am baffled at how much older men, close to hitting their 80s, are running or plan on running this country. Right now, their campaigns specifically target voters in need of a savior instead of genuinely looking for systematic change.

Neither Bernie nor Biden are superheroes. With Biden, his age and moderate voting habits label him as a progressive, but also the association with Obama and name – ice-cream meme – recognition. But, again, he is concerned about how COVID-19 and his solutions can push him forward into office.

The same could be said about Bernie too. A very “eat the rich” mindset when talking about the 1%, but he and his wife make one million dollars a year together. This puts him in an awkward situation when people online are scrutinizing celebrities and the rich to donate towards relief efforts.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation. I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time,” Biden said in an April 2019 campaign video.

All that I am asking is to not let the lens of the current state of the world color a perspective of a candidate too much. Are they solutions to band-aid the present, or are they setting up protections or lesser blows for the future?

As of Wednesday, April 8, Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped his candidacy for president.

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