The impact of COVID-19 on American politics

Ian Streeter ‘20, Social Media Manager

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the United States and the rest of the world in many ways, but one of the most important is the effect it has had on American politics and specifically the 2020 election cycle.

President Donald Trump has faced widespread criticism for his handling of the coronavirus, many accusing him of downplaying the severity of the virus until it got to the point where it could no longer be ignored. However, he has also received a fair amount of praise for his approach to the virus from his supporters and even some of his opponents. Despite this, many people still believe that Trump’s actions regarding this pandemic could seriously harm his chances at re-election later this year.

Trump’s policies and attitude towards the coronavirus is not the only notable political impact that COVID-19 has had, though. Before the coronavirus was declared a national emergency on March 13, it was expected that 40 out of the 50 states in the United States of America would have voted in the Democratic presidential primaries by the end of April. However, many of the states that had yet to vote at that point have had their primaries delayed, meaning only 31 states were able to finish their voting process. With this primary election at what is essentially a halt, all former Presidential candidates (including Bernie Sanders, who for a while was the only candidate to not yet do so) have dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden, the clear frontrunner of the primary, ensuring that Biden will be the Democratic nominee to take on Trump in the general election.

It is probable that the states that have not yet voted will have to have their primaries delayed multiple times, and some are even speculating that the Presidential election in November could be delayed or cancelled. However, the path that the coronavirus pandemic will take for the remainder of 2020 is not yet set in stone, so we cannot make any completely accurate judgments yet. If you are passionate about this election cycle and the potential outcomes of it, do not let the coronavirus take all of your interest away—this will all be over and life will return to normal at some point.


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