U.S. Presidential Election May be Postponed Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

As it may take months before the disease could be controlled, there is a likelihood that the November election will be rescheduled to happen at a later date.

By Rakesh Raman

The U.S. presidential election which is scheduled to take place on November 3, 2020, is likely to be postponed as the entire country is grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The delay is particularly possible as 13 states have already postponed voting for the primaries because of coronavirus. In order to avoid the spread of the disease, people have to maintain social distancing of at least 1.5 meters from each other.

Several events related to the 2020 election have already been affected due to the coronavirus panic. For example, the 11th Democratic debate was held on March 15 without an audience at the CNN studios in Washington, D.C. And the states that have postponed their primaries to a later date, include Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, and Maryland.

The disease situation is going from bad to worse in the U.S. as the Trump Administration is extremely slow in providing the necessary gear such as masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals that are trying to handle coronavirus patients.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as on March 21, U.S. had 15,219 coronavirus cases and more than 200 people have died mostly because of bureaucratic inefficiency.

As it may take months before the disease could be controlled, there is a likelihood that the November election will be rescheduled to happen at a later date.

Although it is a cumbersome process to change the date of the general election as it is set by the federal law since 1845, the law can be changed in extraordinary circumstances by the Congress with the support of the president.

It seems that in the given situation, there is no other option but to defer the election, as the WHO has indicated that the vaccine for coronavirus will not be available until 2021. As a result, people will have to struggle to survive.

That means, it will not be possible to control the disease until next year, although President Trump has said rhetorically that coronavirus will persist until August of this year.

Keeping in view the social and economic disaster inflicted by coronavirus, it will be difficult for the U.S. to recover from the depression in the next 12 months.

So, election may be postponed from November 2020 to November 2021, which will give Trump another year to rule the country in the present term.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman