Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP

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 John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump 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 McConnellPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot 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 PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: COVID-19 relief will be added to omnibus spending package Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden 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 BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama chief economist responds to McConnell quoting him on Senate floor: He missed 'a critical part' Amazon reports .8B in weekend sales from independent businesses on its platform Ossoff features Obama in TV ad ahead of in Georgia run-off MORE, George W. Bush, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBookExpo organizers 'retiring' event Harris selects Tina Flournoy as chief of staff: report One-termers: What Trump can learn from Carter and Bush's re-election losses MORE, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterDreaming of space exploration? You're better off riding bikes The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Giuliani denies discussing preemptive pardon with Trump One-termers: What Trump can learn from Carter and Bush's re-election losses MORE, Gerald Ford, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBipartisan, bicameral group unveils 8 billion coronavirus proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE, John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSen.-elect Mark Kelly visits John McCain's grave ahead of swearing-in McCain, Kristol battle over Tanden nomination Biden's favorability rating rises while Trump's slips: Gallup MORE, Bob Dole or John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBiden's favorability rating rises while Trump's slips: Gallup Biden to nominate Neera Tanden, Cecilia Rouse to economic team: WSJ Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls 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.