How is coronavirus impacting the US presidential election?

With much of the United States practising self-quarantine measures in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it is no longer business as usual. Just about everyone is rethinking their day-to-day work routine as they adjust to a new normal. That includes political campaigns as the clock ticks down to November’s US presidential election.

US President Donald Trump has dismissed the notion that the election is a referendum on his handling of the virus, despite recent revelations that the virus has crept into the White House. The president’s valet, a military member who assists the president with personal tasks, tested positive last week. Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, also tested positive. Miller is the wife of senior White House policy adviser Stephen Miller.

News of the outbreak reaching the White House forced officials to ramp up testing and contact tracing, a move that provided fodder to the president’s foes. Democratic candidate Joe Biden claims President Trump’s response to the pandemic highlights a serious lack of leadership.

“Instead of unifying the country to accelerate our public health response and get economic relief to those who need it, President Trump is reverting to a familiar strategy of deflecting blame and dividing Americans,” Biden wrote in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday.

On this episode of The Stream, we look at the impact the pandemic is having on the race for White House and ask how the candidates’ campaigns are adapting.

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