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Coronavirus Won’t Save the Dems from Trump

State of emergency? It will be for the president’s enemies unless things get much worse.

The national emergency declared by President Donald Trump on March 13 was unavoidable, given both the hysteria over the spread of COVID-19 and the urgent need to override an abundance of bureaucracy and red tape that would have otherwise strangled efforts to contain the virus. It seems, though, that a great many people – particularly in Washington, D.C. – have staked an awful lot on this pandemic having epically disastrous effects on the nation’s economy. If they turn out to be wrong, the political consequences for them will last far longer than the current health crisis.

To suggest that the establishment media and many Democratic politicians are deliberately fostering widespread panic and disruption for political gain would appear, at first, to be the kind of idea only internet conspiracy theorists would promote. Yet, the alarmism is already well beyond compare to any health-related crisis, perhaps in modern history.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the H1N1 flu virus – more commonly known as swine flu – caused almost 61 million illnesses, that we know of, between 2009 and 2010. More than 273,000 Americans were hospitalized, and nearly 12,500 died. Even those figures don’t compare to the effect of the annual flu season, but they certainly dwarf the impact, so far, of this latest coronavirus strain.

What happened during that 2009-2010 flu season, though? Were every major sporting event and public gathering canceled? Did the media provide 24/7 coverage of the spread of the virus? Did people hoard toilet paper? Was the president – Barack Obama, at the time – widely panned for his lack of action, even though he barely lifted a finger until around 1000 Americans died from the virus?

No, none of those things happened. The wailing and gnashing of teeth today, then, is all a little too suspicious. As awful as it sounds, could President Trump’s political enemies, at this point, be hoping for thousands of fatalities to justify their outrage? Let us hope and assume that they are not.

Of course, the president’s declaration was not good enough for the leftwing media. “Trump’s State of Emergency Is an Admission of Failure by the U.S. Government,” declared a Time headline. Read “Trump” in place of “U.S. Government,” of course.

The Washington Post – continuing its tradition of keen political analysis – pointed out that the president “shook hands, patted backs and touched the microphone 31 times while declaring the coronavirus national emergency.”

It does appear that there is light at the end of the tunnel, though. On March 11, China reported just 15 new cases of COVID-19. That is the lowest daily figure for new cases since the start of the outbreak. Mi Feng, a spokesman for China’s National Health Commission, is quoted by The Motley Fool as saying: “Broadly speaking, the peak of the epidemic has passed for China.”

Officials in both China and the United Kingdom are talking about a 10- to 14-week timeline until the virus has run its course. That would mean that, by around mid-June, the pandemic will be over.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is close to a deal with Congress on passing financial measures to aid those Americans affected by the illness, be they in the form of free testing or paid sick leave, as well as several other proposals. After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced late on March 13 that the deal was done, though, there appeared to be a snag, and nothing was finalized. It seems likely that the remaining issues will be resolved within days.

The pandemic is undoubtedly going to affect the remainder of the Democratic Party’s primary contest. Not just in terms of canceled campaign events but even the primary elections themselves. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, on March 13, signed an executive order postponing his state’s primary, initially scheduled for April 4. That primary will now take place on June 20, and more states are likely to follow suit.

The bad news for Democrats is that, by the time they crown their presidential nominee in July, things are likely to be well on the way to a return to normality and sanity – if those words still hold any meaning.

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Read more from Graham J. Noble.

Read More From Graham J Noble

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