The United States’ economy suffers its biggest blow since the Great Depression as the coronavirus pandemic froze almost all activity and shattered consumer and business spending.
This unprecedented healthcare crisis triggered an economic downturn like no other, forcing the upcoming presidential elections to reshape.
According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, two issues are among American voters’ main concerns.
Economy came first, with 79 percent of registered voters seeing it as the top priority for the November 3 election.
Healthcare followed closely, with 68 percent of Americans considering it as the second biggest problem.
Last September, 12.5 million Americans were unemployed – just weeks before they will be called to the polls.
In October, President Donald Trump delivered a speech to economic clubs in Florida and five other states to boast his economic achievements and to warn that an election victory by his Democratic opponent would mean economic doom for the nation.
“Simply put, it’s a choice between a socialist nightmare and the American dream,” he said.
“Under my leadership, we will have a safe and effective vaccine before the end of the year. We will swiftly defeat the China virus, end the pandemic, bring back our critical supply chains, and lift our economy to unprecedented new heights.”
Trump’s focus on Florida, where more than 1.9 million voters have already cast ballots by mail and where voting sites open earlier than in other states, highlights the significance of the Sunshine State in the election.
However, Americans will need more than promises, as a recent Harvard poll showed that 46 percent of US citizens were having severe financial problems, and close to 33 percent said they had exhausted all their savings.
Another 20 percent of them had difficulty paying their rents.
At a campaign event in Erie, Pennsylvania, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reminded the future voters of persistent inequalities in the U.S. society.
“Ninety-one of the Fortune 500 companies today pay zero tax. You hear me? Zero tax. How many of you pay zero tax? And billionaires are paying at a tax rate, because it’s all investment money, they’re paying a lower tax rate than you pay if you have a job as a plumber,” Biden said.
The Democratic nominee also mentioned the importance of unions and healthcare, and criticised the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation is critical and strong changes will be needed for the U.S. economy to get back on track.
Will America get over this economic blow?
Global economic recovery will pick up the pace significantly only when the pandemic is over and the virus is under control.
But with the US presidential election coming amid this unprecedented crisis, there is still truth in the notion that when America sneezes, the world does indeed catch a cold.
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