After the deaths of more than 740,000 Americans, you might think the decline of a deadly pandemic would be good news for the country.
But apparently not for Democrats.
This is not my analysis, it is the conclusion of Politico, which says that “the political fallout can be serious, especially for Democrats”.
“It eliminates a big problem,” said Ben Tribbett, a Democratic strategist in Virginia.
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Truly? Would it be better for Democrats if the coronavirus continues to ravage the country, pushing up deaths and hospitalizations, so that they do not lose a political weapon? It seems incredibly heartless.
Now I’m going to give Tribbett the benefit of the doubt and assume he was answering a reporter’s question and he doesn’t want more casualties just to boost his party. But let’s look at the political landscape.
The pandemic is not exactly over, with more than 70,000 new cases a day and around 1,400 deaths. But case numbers are less than half of the peak in early August.
While there could be a slight uptick as colder weather forces more people indoors, The Washington Post says the pandemic “appears to be ending in the United States in a thousand subtle ways, but without any singular milestones. , or a shattering announcement of freedom. virus. “
As one expert put it, the virus is just going into the background, like the flu.
Now, there is no doubt that the pandemic was Joe Biden’s main issue in the campaign, and his assault on Donald Trump’s handling of the virus was crucial to his victory in the White House.
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And while Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, it was Biden who deployed it – and reaped the political benefits as much of the country came under fire. That is, until 80 million Americans refused to be vaccinated, the president imposed warrants and the Delta variant surged. These developments, along with the debacle in Afghanistan and the border crisis, fueled Biden’s fall in the polls.
With more media attention on inflation, supply shortages, Democratic internal struggles, and culture war battles – as evidenced by Toni Morrison’s book in Virginia Governor Race – virus politics no longer dominate the news.
“As interest in Covid wanes,” Politico says, “Democrats could lose one of their most compelling campaign plans just over a year before a critical midterm election in which the party is already facing headwinds ”.
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There is a certain irony here. If the virus continues to recede, Biden would deserve some of the credit. It has taken a lot of heat to demand vaccines and encourage states and businesses to do the same, but the gradual increase in the rate of vax – some facing the loss of their jobs – has surely helped slow the spread.
And yet, elections are always about the future. The British sacked Winston Churchill after World War II and the Americans sacked George HW Bush after the Gulf War. Even though Biden is seen as the man who defeated Covid-19, that means Americans will worry about other things in 22 – and that means a changed political landscape.