The odds are extremely high that the October surprise that will dominate and determine the results of the election will be a devastating new wave of COVID-19 infections, a catastrophic increase in COVID-19 deaths, and a disastrous increase in the jobless rate even more punishing and painful than what Americans endure today.
While President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE seems to believe a miracle COVID-19 vaccine in October will save his presidency, and all normal people hope and pray this vaccine happens, the prospects for this before the election are as likely as Trump’s prediction that the virus will magically disappear — which he offered long before almost 150,000 Americans were dead and the jobless rate rose to horrifying levels.
Today, under the leadership of Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Republicans, who are in grave danger of losing their majority, are being asked to fight for a puny continued emergency jobless benefit extension of only $200 which is reminiscent of Marie Antoinette offering her suffering people a little piece of cake while the rich get richer.
Do economic incompetence, moral indecency and political suicide ring a bell?
Meanwhile, today, the national ban on evictions is expiring. Every leader of every faith should demand action. There is a grave and imminent danger of potentially millions of Americans evicted and thrown onto the streets. Where will they go, when one major protection against the deadly virus is for them to stay at home, and they have no home?
Remember these words: If this happens, many of them will fall victim to COVID-19 and an alarming and immoral number of them will suffer preventable death. This will be the moral equivalent of manslaughter, because the danger is obvious and clear while Trump and Senate Republicans have failed to act on this or the $3 trillion economic and COVID-19 legislation that passed the House in May!
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse has the power to subpoena its members — but does it have the will? Man who threatened to kill Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi pleads guilty to federal charges The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems look to repackage BBB into salvageable bill MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y) and House and Senate Democrats deserve a standing ovation from voters for passing in the House and championing in the Senate this urgently needed program that passed the House in May.
Let me repeat for emphasis: It passed in May! Trump and McConnell did nothing in May, June or July.
If the president in May was named Joe BidenJoe BidenUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries Headaches intensify for Democrats in Florida US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team The Memo: Biden looks for way to win back deflated Black voters 6 in 10 say they would back someone other than Biden in 2024: Fox News poll MORE, George W. Bush, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Perdue proposes election police force in Georgia To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill MORE, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterWhy our parties can't govern Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House After the loss of three giants of conservation, Biden must pick up the mantle MORE, Gerald Ford, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Put partisan politics aside — The Child Tax Credit must be renewed immediately Trump remembers former 'Apprentice' contestant Meat Loaf: 'Great guy' MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 Redistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want MORE, Bob Dole or John KerryJohn KerryBiden's second-ranking climate diplomat stepping down A presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day Equilibrium/Sustainability — Dam failures cap a year of disasters MORE here is what they would have done:
They would have immediately invited House and Senate Democratic and Republican leaders to Camp David to hammer out a bill that would have been enacted by June 1. If Democrats favored a $3 trillion bill and Republicans favored a $1 trillion bill, they would have compromised in the middle — and enacted a strong jobless benefits bill, not the Marie Antoinette GOP version. They would have enacted an extension of the eviction ban to prevent homelessness and deaths that will happen if it is not immediately extended.
Trump, McConnell and Senate Republicans fail to understand the extreme danger, which leading medical authorities have warned about for months, of a powerful deadly COVID-19 wave that will happen during the flu season beginning in September and October.
There are reasons the flu season begins when it does, which happens every year at the same time. There are reasons the danger is extreme this year when the annual danger of the flu is compounded by the multiplied danger of COVID-19 escalating simultaneously in September, October and beyond.
The current wave of COVID-19 infections and deaths occur most often in states with Republican governors who toe the line behind Trump. The staggering disapproval of Trump’s handling of COVID-19 will worsen when this October surprise, which should not be a surprise, arrives.
Senate Republicans should break with Trump and provide enough votes to pass a major, effective and substantial jobs, economic and COVID-19 bill immediately. Millions of jobs, countless lives and Republican careers depend on it.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Ark.), who was chief deputy majority whip of the House of Representatives. He holds an LLM in international financial law from the London School of Economics.