This week in election news

The first debate, Trump has COVID, and we’re still a month away from the election

Megan Vetter | Photo courtesy
This week has left many Americans feeling defeated.

We are well into election season, not that you could have missed that. Every day it seems there are new headlines towards some development in the presidential election, this week being no exception. 

The first presidential debate might have been the most important development from this week, but then the commander-in-chief got COVID. If all of this sounds a little fuzzy, I’ll do my best to catch you up. 

First Presidential Debate

The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden happened on Tuesday, the 29th of September. Well, debate might be a stretch, it was more of a yelling match where we got a sense of the candidate’s demeanor but not their position’s.

Seriously, watching the debate was painful. Trump consistently spoke, either during his allotted time or over Biden, and even over moderator Chris Wallace. It was so bad that future networks are adding rules about speaking over other candidates and considering muting microphones while the other candidate speaks.

Maybe Trump was trying to come off as strong, but instead, he looked like an ill-educated aggressor. It was hard to resist the urge to cheer when Biden told him to shut up or when Wallace asked if Trump wanted to switch seats. It was like Trump was doing the interrupting cow joke, but for an hour and a half.

Biden lost his cool too, mind you, but his empathetic moments landed well and his defense of his son sat well with most parents (and I daresay, most decent people). 

Perhaps the most notable moment in the whole debate came when Trump was spoon-fed a question which would allow him to denounce white supremacy. What did he do instead? When asked about the Proud Boys, a far-right group largely known as a hate group, he told them to, “Stand back and stand by.”

He fully acknowledged his position as a leader of white supremacists, and, as one himself. This moment will outlast this debate and will likely define Trump’s presidency. Following this statement, many white supremacists took to social media to tell the president they appreciated his support and were standing by for further instruction. If this doesn’t terrify you, it should.

You all know the Daveed Diggs tune, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist, full stop. If you vote for him again, you’re a white supremacist, full stop.” Just a reminder to faithful Trump supporters: we see you. 

As people keep saying, there was no obvious winner in this debate, but America was the clear loser. I agree with this in a sense, the debate was extremely disheartening and lacking in basic decorum. However, I think a candidate that can’t condemn white supremacy, attacks a politician’s child for substance abuse issues and can’t shut up is the clear loser.

Trump tested positive for coronavirus

Early Friday morning, Trump announced that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for coronavirus. This created waves of uproar on the internet. In an interesting turn, there was a lot of backlash from Trump supporters about people wishing ill for the president.

(This is a curious take considering Trump’s actions directly led to the loss of over 207,000 lives from this pandemic. He didn’t seem too concerned with their wellbeing.)

This announcement came the day after Trump has said, “The end of the pandemic is in sight.” Well, if Trump was an average American, seeing as he is in the most vulnerable age-bracket for the virus, it might have been the end of everything for him. However, Trump has access to medical care and financial resources regular Americans don’t.

While Trump received the best possible care at Walter Reed hospital, 2,000 Americans died since his diagnosis; in over-crowded hospitals and alone. His cavalier attitude about ‘defeating’ the virus shows a disconnect from reality and from average Americans which is more than alarming. 

Nothing represents how out-of-touch Trump is better than his choice for a photo-op on Sunday in front of supporters outside of Walter Reed. James Phillips, an attending physician at Walter Reed said, “Looking at the risks of transmission of Covid-19, what we know is being in enclosed spaces is dangerous… Masks or no masks. Being inside a vehicle that is hermetically sealed circulates the virus inside and potentially puts people at risk.”

Similar to Trump tear gassing protesters for a chance to hold a Bible upside-down, Trump put everyone in the vehicle with him at risk and required they all go into quarantine for 2 weeks. Trump’s need for attention is beyond unhealthy, it has and continues to put people at risk and lead to the death of Americans.

Trump will likely recover. However, this recovery says far more about his privilege in receiving the best medical care in the country than it does about the seriousness of the virus.

Vice Presidential Debate

The first Vice Presidential debate will occur on October 7th, at 8pm. Joe Biden’s running-mate Kamala Harris will go head-to-head with current Vice President, Mike Pence. If Trump’s bout of COVID says anything, it’s that our Vice President could soon have a much more important role. 

If you missed the first presidential debate, make sure you don’t miss this. 

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