200,000: This Number is on Trump's Mind
The familiar sounds of pop music mingled with the murmured chit-chatting in malls, and the scents of barbecued ribs in restaurants, are finally resurfacing, as signs of countries across the globe reopening. Or should I say, they're no longer so mundane after the eight months the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us locked down in? (WHO, n.d.) Regardless, the U.S is still far away from reaching such stages as cases continue to surge. As the nation battles one of its worst economic crises yet and uprising social issues, this article will examine the efforts (to combat the pandemic) of the man behind the nation, Donald Trump.
Currently, the U.S leads as the country with the most cases at 5.6 million (Johns Hopkins University, n.d.). President Trump is a Republican, as we might be familiar by now. But his economic policies often vary across the political spectrum. His experience as a former businessman convinced many of his capability to bring economic prosperity to the nation. But what has Trump economically done for the U.S. under the pandemic? The previous president, Barack Obama, stepped into the Oval Office under the nation's worst economic crisis since The Great Depression. Meanwhile, it can be argued that Trump caused one of the worst economic crises in the U.S. The U.S economy is also seeing a recession even with a $6 trillion+ stimulus package (Dam, 2020). Job losses have also hit twenty to forty million alone due to the pandemic (Morath, 2020). And Trump's hesitant views on federal aid are not helping. The 4.8 million jobs added by the Trump Administration in June does not adhere to the trend we've seen either (Trump, 2020). Nonetheless, Trump mass-purchased hydroxychloroquine that the nation is now stuck with (Boseley, 2020). Indeed, you can be convinced that the pandemic is not Trump's fault. But remember how Obama worked with West Africa to prevent a global outbreak of Ebola?
Businesses and stock markets have neither been doing well under Trump. Supply shortages fuel the meat, home, and aluminium can industry. Stock markets are turbulent; blue-chip stocks are on the rise while oil prices plummet to the negatives. Trump promises there will be a sharp return with economies, stock markets, and businesses. However, it is reasonably clear that the U.S will be moving on a fragile boardwalk.
Likewise, civic issues are uprising. The most prominent examples would be the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. African American populations are also associated with lower quality housing, more frequent virus transmission, and wage/employment issues. The fight to give recognition to African Americans was a priority to former presidents like Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. Obama enhanced the quality of life on all aspects for African Americans—improving employment and income, life expectancy, education funding, incarceration rates, and more. Lincoln stopped American slavery. However, Trump claimed without evidence that he has done more than ever to benefit the Black population of America. As seen, his attitude jeopardizes the many lives of the U.S.
The president himself has been involved in a series of scandals—notably the recent subpoena, and the QAnon conspiracies. As everyone is staying at home, the Internet is increasingly prone to be our primary source of interactions. QAnon has a reputation for spreading misinformation and no-proof claims through the Internet, like 4chan pages. This is the age of disinformation. Social media giants have also been under scrutiny. Facebook, Twitter, and Google introduced better fact-checking procedures for posts. As seen, Trump can indirectly imperil Americans by such acts. Not to mention the number of times he made anti-scientific claims about the virus and eluded infectious disease professionals.
Trump has portrayed himself as a man that works chaotically. And with record-low approval rates, it is clear Trump has worsened the U.S coronavirus pandemic (Enten, 2020). "Make America Great Again"? It really depends on the next presidency.
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