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COVID-19, the wrong election wildcard for the White House

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As we enter the final stretch of the U.S. electoral process, there are multiple factors that make these upcoming presidential elections among the most important, historically speaking, for this nation, with an undeniable demographic, migratory, and racial slant. In addition to this, however, there is an uncontrolled variable that has caused us to modify both our analysis as well as what is inferred, and that will continue playing a key political role in the post-electoral phase. I am referring to the coronavirus.

For example, one only has to scratch the surface of the data that experts have provided about the victims of COVID-19 to realize that it has also been a deadly virus, one especially cruel to minorities. And immigrant Latinos, in that sense, have been one of the most affected groups, as if the onslaught of anti-immigrant attacks emanating from the White House were not enough.

Doctor Anthony Fauci, who has become a sort of “inconvenient expert” for the regime, since he had to leave after contradicting more than once the presidential ideas regarding the coronavirus, has sounded the alarm about what is happening to the Latino immigrant community.

The scientist, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, revealed a couple of weeks ago, according to a report from NBC News-Telemundo, during his virtual participation with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, that hospitalizations among Latinos were 359 per 100,000, compared to 78 for white people (as of September 19). And with regard to COVID-19 deaths the rate was also alarming, since among Latinos there were 61 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with only 40 for whites. Moreover, Fauci added, Latinos represent 45% of deaths of people younger than 21 years old, to date.

For that reason, he recommended that once a vaccine against COVID-19 is ready, the Latino community be treated as a priority to receive the immunization.

But Doctor Fauci was not the only voice sounding the alarm. In that same forum, Doctor Peter Hotez, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, declared unequivocally that the coronavirus is causing the historic decimation of the Latino community.

He explained, according to the same report, that “this virus is taking away a whole generation of mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters… who are young kids” from the Latino community, especially essential workers who are being systematically decimated.

Essentially, the more than 200,000 people infected by COVID-19 who have died in the United States undeniably constitute a national tragedy. And as much as the official discourse would prefer to continue minimizing its impact on society —just as President Donald Trump tried yet again, writing on his Twitter account “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life,” before leaving the Walter Reed military hospital, in Maryland, where he was cared for after testing positive for the coronavirus— the reality is that the cases, both of infected people as well as deaths, contradict any attempt to soften the unfortunate wavering among the population.

It seems that the leader did not learn his lesson after the revelations from a series of interviews done by the journalist Bob Woodward, in which it became known that Trump was aware of the danger that COVID-19 represented. If his attitude had been different, the meaning of his words would have been different and it would have changed the course of things, like taking drastic containment measures in time. And many Latino immigrant families and people from other communities would not be suffering this siege. But it wasn’t like that.

The politicization of COVID-19 that Trump is engaged in after more than half a year of people suffering from the havoc wreaked by this pandemic, and in the middle of an electoral process of historic proportions, not only sounds absurd, but rises to the rank of presidential mockery, for the fallen and their families as well as for those who are in the most difficult stage of treatment and those who have received positive coronavirus results, even though they are asymptomatic. Many of them, for example, are among his own team of close advisors.

Using to the topic of the coronavirus as the electoral wildcard to counter the political attacks that the revelations of his tax cheating over the years, and the grotesque and disastrous spectacle that he showed during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, have painted the entire body of a president who is looking to extend another four years at any price, more of his series of public policies that going against contemporary United States. And that affects, in large part, immigrants and especially Latinos as eternal scapegoats.

In that way, the impatience of the patient Trump has caused him to show yet another mark of iniquity by taking off his mask for a photo op, when he returned to the White House with the virus still developing in his body —where other illnesses such as xenophobia and racism had settled in as tenants prior to the coronavirus.

The American tragicomedy, of course, narrates itself.

To read the Spanish version of this article click here

David Torres