Soter: We Need Trump to Recover from COVID-19 So We Can Vote Him Out


Courtesy of the White House via Creative Commons

By Theadora Soter, Multimedia Managing Editor


In 2016, then-presidential nominee Donald Trump responded to the news that Hillary Clinton had pneumonia by mocking her. This year, Democratic nominee Joe Biden responded to the news that President Trump had contracted the lethal coronavirus by using the president’s platform of choice, Twitter, to sincerely wish Trump and the First Lady a “swift recovery.” American voters should take Biden’s act of respect into consideration as they head into the election. Do we want a bully or a leader? Trump is proving to be the former. In fact, he’s a danger to the health and safety of the American people, and his COVID-19 diagnosis indicates that. But the last thing we need is the chaos of a presidential death just weeks before the election. We need Trump to survive COVID-19 — and then we need to vote him out.

In addition to human life, Trump is a threat to our very democracy for a plethora of reasons. For one, Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power, something no other president has done before. He has repeatedly abused his power and undermined voters’ confidence in the electoral system. His behavior has been inappropriate, unconstitutional and, rightfully, deeply concerning to the American people. Trump is setting up the infrastructure to sway the election results in his favor.

Trump’s blatant lies about the country’s economic recovery, the coronavirus and his opponent Joe Biden are also absolutely infuriating. The majority of the nation doesn’t feel like they have transparency in their leader.

And of course, Trump’s dishonesty and careless behavior around the pandemic have been terrifying to witness. His poor management of the coronavirus has led him to his current position: COVID-19 positive. This is the perfect karmic consequence for his refusal to treat the pandemic as the scientific crisis that it is. He should know the pain that so many individuals and families have felt because of his less than adequate leadership, shouldn’t he? That said, wishing for his death is the wrong response to his illness — not because he deserves to live, but because of what could happen if he doesn’t.

No matter how badly we want the president removed from office for his unconstitutional, inhumane and flat out cruel actions, the unforgiving wrath of coronavirus isn’t the way to do it, despite the fitting irony. The US is already knee deep in a plethora of crises: racial injustice, political polarization, the pandemic and its accompanying unemployment catastrophe, climate change — the list goes on and on. And isn’t it worse to have no leader than an incompetent leader? In the wake of a presidential death, foreign relationships could implode, the economy could get even worse and, perhaps most notably, the disaster that is the Republican Party would get to choose a replacement candidate, turning Trump’s aspirations of an unjust election into a reality. We’re already seeing this with the cancellation of the second presidential debate, thanks to Trump’s refusal to interrupt Biden via Zoom.

Of course, the only thing the American people can truly count on if Trump were to become incapacitated or, even worse, join the growing mortality statistics, is that Mike Pence would take his place. This could completely undermine Biden’s chances of winning because, as we saw in the vice-presidential debate, Pence comes off as more rational and less offensive than Trump, and seems to have more cohesive policy goals. But Pence has been the one leading — or failing to lead — the coronavirus task force. If he were to be appointed as the GOP candidate and beat Biden, American citizens would continue to die and the country would continue to spiral.

We must learn from the president’s ignorant choices and see him for what he is: a spreader of fallacies and lies that harm the nation and benefit him (though perhaps not in the case of his COVID-19 diagnosis). Unlike Trump, we must continue to follow CDC guidelines to protect each other from the coronavirus. And more broadly, we must understand that if Trump wins a second term as president, the United States will continue to take on and suffer from his failures. That should scare us. As Democratic leaders have said throughout this election cycle, our lives depend on the results of this presidential race — so let’s vote like it.


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