Trump Becoming COVID Patient #1 Restores the Pandemic as Campaign Issue #1
The exception proves the rule: With president Donald Trump, who has denied the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic since its onset, now contracting COVID-19 and hospitalized for treatment, the pandemic is restored — properly so — as Issue #1 in this presidential campaign.
Despite his strenuous efforts to make the campaign about “law and order” or the alleged weaknesses of Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the felling of the President himself to the virus, along with numerous other Republicans — may they all recover as newly enlightened people — underscores, as nothing else could, the dominion of this vicious virus.
Until the virus is vanquished, America will flail and founder. The same can’t be said of any other issue. Thus, it is Issue #1.
This reprioritizing is all to the good and just in time, because: I fear that, with the media spotlight so fixed on Trump’s every desperate and distracting gambit to get re-elected — the most desperate and distracting being last week’s abominable “presidential” debate — the less our attention is fixed on the pandemic’s insidious corrosion of America’s economic landscape. This corrosion, going on seven months, may be irreparable.
Damage such as: The millions of human lives upended by a hemorrhaging economy — over 40 million people lost their jobs in the pandemic’s first three months — with another relief package coming from Congress still iffy. The word “upend” is used a lot these days, but are we really focusing on the upending? Many workers are now permanently unemployed, as their status goes from temporary layoff to permanently cut. Imagine the sorrow and suffering, and now panic, of those human beings, our fellow Americans.
Damage such as: Businesses, local and national, going under. Small businesses numbering 1.4 million went under in the three months ending in June, representing 13% of the 30.7 million small businesses operating nationwide. Storied brand names, too, have gone under: Brooks Brothers, the clothier to Abraham Lincoln in his presidency; J.C. Penney; Lord & Taylor; Hertz.
Damage such as: Cities and towns upended. To read of the devastation of the downtowns of our iconic cities — New York and Washington, D.C. — is chilling, out of a dystopian novel: the vacant storefronts, restaurants and hotels near-empty, the arts establishments closed, all with dismal prospects for a full comeback…