The Race for The White House in the Midst of COVID-19

    By Lira Bordoley, Highlander Staff Writer

The nation is grief-stricken. Americans live in fear of an invisible virus every day. Economic rates go down while death rates only climb. The coronavirus has fully consumed America; there is a constant reminder of the death rates in the corner of every news show; people are scared to breathe outside of the safety of their houses and the common question seems to be, when will this end? While the pandemic has taken over life as we know it, there is still a major American event to consider; the 2020 Presidential Election. Some voters are wondering how and/or if the voting process will be affected by the stay at home order “The real outstanding question is whether or not we’re going to have an election system that can deliver for the voters and whether or not we’re going to be able to manage everybody being able to vote in November,” says Michael McDonald, a political scientist at the University of Florida. It is known that the election is months away but these times are unprecedented and no one is able to predict an end to this crisis. 

The World Economic Forum has made it clear that the pandemic has already hindered election in November. “Since the primary method of preventing the spread of the coronavirus is creating social distance, the normal interactive and assembly-driven process of primaries, campaigns and party conventions has been severely interrupted.” American voter Ronna Bordoley says, “The lack of electoral coverage is detrimental to all voters of all ages but especially new voters. They need all of the information they can get so that they can decide how to orient themselves.” This is completely agreeable; new voter, Rachel Zubrzycki says, “I know that I want all of the information I can get so that I can make an informed decision about who I am voting for.” However, with or without information, it will still be difficult to exercise your right to vote.

In the April 16th edition of The Hub, the staff at Johns Hopkins University conclude that COVID-19 will very likely take a toll on the voter turnout in November which will affect the results. 

“That said, anxiety can affect other elections, too—and if a 7 percentage point effect is typical, that’s an effect large enough to potentially shift outcomes in close elections.”

The concept of anxiety is an interesting one considering the fact that there are people who are very much responsible for other people’s anxiety levels.

“Thousands gathered in Washington, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and California to protest lockdown orders resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Some marched with rifles draped across their backs and handguns resting on their hips, while others shared conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and his involvement with the Covid-19 vaccine,” says Maia Niguel Hoskin of Vox. “Even in larger, less-rural cities in California, groups waved “Trump 2020” flags and marched the streets with signs that read, “No Liberty. No Life.” The overwhelming amount of people protesting the stay-at-home orders and lack of American economic growth is a tribute to the lack of normalcy that America is experiencing and electoral coverage is necessary to bring a sense of normality back to the citizens of America. These scary and unprecedented times have confused the nation for an extensive amount of time and they may continue to. 

On April 26th, 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed his concern during a Meet the Press conference. “There will be coronavirus in the fall,” says Fauci. Fauci is not the only one who is worried about the future of coronavirus and the future of the country. Lots more damage must be done before we are all safe. Dr. Michael Osterholm says, “We are just on the very first stages. When I hear New York talking about the fact they are down the backside of the mountain, I know they have been through hell. And that is an important statement. But they have to understand that’s not the mountain. That is the foothills. They have mountains to go yet. We have a lot of people to get infected before this is over.”

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