The coronavirus election

The coronavirus election
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The final days of the 2020 election are finally upon us. President Trump and former Vice President Biden are making their closing arguments in a historic election that will determine who will lead the country amid a global pandemic that has killed more than 227,000 Americans and a recession that has taken millions of American jobs.

Which candidate’s closing argument will voters find more compelling?

Biden’s vision offers real plans and action on big, complex problems. In fact, Biden is already giving voters a glimpse of what a competent president should be doing right now, and what he would do in his first term. 


Trump, in contrast, has been unwilling or unable to articulate what a second term would look like. And he’s recklessly exposing Americans to danger with no regard for the well-being of his most ardent supporters. 

Let’s take a closer look.

Biden spent Wednesday in Wilmington, Del., attending a virtual public COVID-19 briefing. This provided Trump with the opportunity to accuse Biden of “hiding in his basement,” and even gave the media an opportunity to ask why Biden is wasting the precious little time he has left to talk to voters. But it was an intentional effort to highlight the stark contrast between the attention he is paying to the pandemic and his opponent, who continues to wish the virus would just go away.

Biden also spent time in Florida, where he spoke to voters at socially distanced events, mostly attended by people in cars, all of whom wore masks. Biden will continue to attend these type of events, putting people’s safety and well-being first, as he speaks about the urgent need to bring the full weight and resources of the federal government to help control the pandemic. He went to Georgia this week, too, and will visit Wisconsin and Iowa before Election Day.

Biden is addressing the distressed economy that is the direct result of Trump’s disastrous handling of COVID-19. Biden mentioned that even the recent growth in GDP was not enough to spur the economy back to pre-pandemic levels. Biden stressed that more than 750,000 Americans have filed for unemployment, and millions of Americans are still unable to return to work. 


Another formidable closing argument that the former VP’s campaign is making is about the 545 kids still separated from their parents thanks to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy at the border. Biden is running ads in Florida and other key battleground states with large numbers of Latino voters, stating that he will sign an executive order to reunite the children with their lost parents. This will remind Latinos and others about this inhumane policy that ripped children from the arms of their mothers in a misguided effort to deter migrants from coming to America.

Let’s contrast Biden’s approach with what has been a dangerously cavalier approach that Trump has had recently as he races from rally to rally in a desperate flurry to convince Americans that his handling of the coronavirus has been stellar. Sadly, in so doing, the president is not only spreading lies about COVID-19, his rallies appear to be spreading COVID-19 itself, according to USA Today.

Amid record numbers of COVID-19 infections and emergency room visits, the White House’s Science Policy Office announced on Tuesday that it had placed “ending the COVID-19 pandemic” on top of a list of Trump’s key accomplishments.   

Trump’s refusal to face the facts about a virus that has infected millions of Americans has been his downfall in the polls. If he loses, it will be the primary reason why. Meanwhile, Biden is maintaining his advantage in national polls, and maintaining leads in most battleground state polls.

When Trump dismisses the pandemic, it shows he has no empathy for what so many Americans are suffering. It proves just how out of touch he is with the reality so many are living with and dying from. 

Trump won in 2016 because he was the candidate who was able to perceive and channel the struggles of voters who felt invisible. It seems that now he is the candidate blind to the suffering that so many Americans attribute to his malfeasance. 

Maria Cardona is a longtime Democratic strategist and was co-chair of the Democratic National Committee's rules and bylaws committee for the party's 2020 convention. She is a principal at Dewey Square Group, a Washington-based political consulting agency, and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.