Race to the White House: Will Donald Trump Get a Second Chance?

Oct 27, 2020 02:38 PM IST

Good Morning,

This is our first newsletter in the run-up to the US Election 2020. The daily newsletter will be briefing our readers about the updates in the United States’ presidential race.

In today’s theme, we explore the chances of a win for Donald Trump in the presidential race.

Will Donald Trump Get A Second Chance?

– COVID 19 pandemic response has cast a shadow on Trump’s re-election

A day after the United States hit a new high for coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail for a series of rallies and sought to minimize the surging pandemic, mocking his rival, Joe Biden, for following the social distancing recommendations of public health officials.

Trump’s effort to downplay the impact of the virus juxtaposed with over 2 lakh deaths already have bolstered his critics who say he has been unable to handle the crisis leading to loss of lives.

Trump has continued to insist that the media is obsessing over the virus. “That’s all I hear about now. That’s all I hear, turn on the television,” Trump said at a campaign event in Lumberton, North Carolina. “COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID, COVID”.

– Closely connected is the Obamacare issue – the Affordable Care Act Provides healthcare benefits to 20 million Americans but the Trump administration wants to overturn it.

– In the final Presidential debate in Nashville he said: “I would like to terminate Obamacare, come up with a brand new, beautiful health care.”

– Healthcare has emerged as a big issue for the Americans

– Elections are also taking place in the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump is accused of bolstering the white supremacists though in the Presidential Debate at Nashville he claimed to be “the least racist person in the room”.

– His policy on immigration has been a disruptive one. Sometimes even putting legitimate immigrants at the receiving end due to the false perception created that they have robbed Americans of their jobs.

– Separation of families and images of children in cages have impacted women voters in particular, says Indian-American author Chitra Banerjee Devikaruni.

The Trump Campaign

– Donald Trump has been campaigning across the length and breadth of the United States.

– Even when he was down with COVID-19 he ensured that his social media presence was maintained.

– He continued to brazen it out and removed his mask immediately after appearing from the Walter Reed Medical Centre.

– Trump’s wife Melania has been conspicuously missing from the campaign trail, appearing only at the last Presidential debate alongside her husband.

In Other News

– Despite the US Presidential Election just being a week away, two members of the Trump administration, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Defence secretary Mark Esper have reached Delhi for the 2+2 India US meet.

– Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper met their respective counterparts bilaterally last evening.

– The last major diplomatic engagement of the Trump administration days before the November 3 presidential election, the two-day meeting, involving four top cabinet ministers from India and the US, is expected to lay the foundation for the next four years of this relationship irrespective of who comes to power.

Speaking on the conditions of anonymity, senior administration officials from the State Department and the Pentagon asserted that there was bipartisan support in the US on its relationship with India.

“The 2+2 ministerial will serve as a capstone to review our many accomplishments as well as lay down next steps for the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call organised by the Foreign Press Center in Washington DC.

Broadly, they intend to focus on four major themes at this year’s 2+2: global cooperation, which includes public health collaboration and works in the Indo-Pacific; economic cooperation, which includes partnership on energy and in space; people-to-people ties; and defence and security ties.

Noting that on the US-India economic cooperation, they are working together towards economic recovery and getting bilateral trade back on track, the official said the US International Development Finance Corporation has made commitments to support more than USD 500 million in investment projects in India and has recently assigned a managing director in Mumbai, who will help expand their investments in India and in the region.

The official said that joint efforts to develop and produce COVID-19 vaccines have taken off at a remarkable pace. More than half a dozen American companies and institutions are working on vaccine research with Indian partners like the Serum Institute of India, the official said.

– The BECA or Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geospatial data sharing will be signed between the two sides.

– Situation at the LAC will come up for discussion​.

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