An overall of 2.5 million cases and a record of daily new cases, 68.000 on the 10th of July, the Vice-President Mike Pence wrote in the Wall Street Journal that they were winning the fight against COVID-19.
With 25% of worldwide deaths for a country that has 4.4% of the planet’s population, America has been struggling ever since the beginning of the pandemic. On the other hand, the elections are approaching and the fight is far from being won.
In red-map-coloured states, Trump is increasingly losing ballots every day. The most accurate example is Florida, where the Republican billionaire won 58 out of the 67 counties. Right now the 21 million-inhabitants State is facing an exponential increase of cases since the beginning of June, being now of 110.000 cases. Although the Governor announced that measures won’t be eased, the number of cases carry on increasing. This whole situation brings Joe Biden in pole position in Florida, with a win probability varying from 65 to 85% according to The Economist US election forecast.
Another relevant example is Georgia, where 70.000 people are infected, and the race to the white house seems more competitive than for the 2016 elections, where only 32 counties out of 159 were earned, by little, by the Democrats. Now, it seems more difficult for the Republicans to win Georgia, marked as one of the most competitive State by The Economist US election forecast.
The 55th American president’s controversial claims is putting him in a weak position: counter-arguing the WHO number and withdrawing from this latter is giving more space to the Democrats and is thus increasing their victory odds. Joe Biden is now seeking the opportunity to announce and insist on his save-the-economy plan, focusing his program on increased spendings and policies focused on supporting workers, when there’s 14% unemployment in the country compared to the 3.5% of January.
As the Democrats are emphasizing their campaign on bettering the healthcare system, Trump’s administration requested the supreme court to suppress the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), an operation that could cost the protection of 23 million American citizens, said Nancy Pelosi, president of the House of Representatives.
Moreover, Trump’s decision on withdrawing from the WHO (World Health Organization) isn’t helping him; Not only it will increase his unpopularity, nationally and globally, but it will also cause the organization a lack of 893 million dollars. The US is by far the first contributor, ahead of Bill Gate’s foundation, representing 15% of the WHO funds. Throwing responsibility to the organization for the aggressive raise in the country won’t prevent him from being the one to blame: Leaving the organization will give the American population an unprecedented vulnerability, as scientists and the entire national medical staff will be out of the world health information channel, which is essential during the pandemic. Unless the process is respected, President Trump won’t see his country withdrawing from the organization until the country pays the 60 million dollars it still owes to the WHO.
What’s also playing in the coronavirus fight and thus, the presidential race is how the different communities are affected, and how it will influence the election.
After George Floyd’s death, a Black American citizen, the 20th March 2020 in Minneapolis, the world witnessed a wave of peaceful demonstrations, striking against persecutions over black communities. 56 years after the Civil Act was voted by the U.S Congress, racism is still present in the world first democracy, provoking anger against the institutions, the system, and especially the police. Representing 12.7% of the American population, the African-American community isn’t to be left on the side, especially when it comes to electoral calculus. Adding this latter to the coronavirus crisis, there is some obvious correlation.
Reports have been made to show the link between the colour of the skin and the health disparities. It has and will have some consequence over the coming presidential election. In a big city, such as Chicago, 2.7 million people, The Washington Post reported that 82% of deaths from COVID-19 were non-white people, knowing that 43% of Illinois deaths were African American, a frightening figure in a democracy promoting equality. Indeed, deaths from the virus are related to the people’s health conditions; but if African American are the most vulnerable to the virus, it’s also because they’re the community that is the most exposed to the virus: they constitute the biggest part of the critical workforce that must keep on going to work. According to ScienceNews figures, only 10% of African-Americans have the opportunity to work from home, thanks to the sector they’re working in. Not only being the most exposed community, the African-American population is the community that suffers the most from poor health conditions: The American Heart Association revealed that 40% of African-Americans have high blood pressure, an important fact in understanding why they have the biggest death toll per community. With the Black Lives Matter movement going on around the country, someone could question the link between the increasing number of daily cases since June and these “social gatherings”, but protesters have been wearing masks and the counties undergoing high infection rate are not the ones welcoming the big protests.
How vulnerable you are and how the crisis is handled become a crucial factor in people’s future electoral choice. Trump’s manner doesn’t satisfy everybody and the National Scientific Foundation underlined it, adding that better handling would have saved a lot of lives. If the U.S is doing bad at managing the pandemic, it’s also because the virus is not the president’s preoccupation: on the National Day, 4th of July, the President barely talked about the situation, letting know his citizens how careless he is over this uncommon situation.
This is being said, the link between communities’ vulnerability and COVID-19 consequences is a parameter for who will be elected 46th president of the United States.