How COVID-19 upturned US campaign | Daily News

How COVID-19 upturned US campaign

Voters stand at voting booths during early voting at the Oklahoma Election Board in Oklahoma City.
Voters stand at voting booths during early voting at the Oklahoma Election Board in Oklahoma City.

US: COVID-19 has not only wreaked havoc on the US Presidential election schedule -- it dominated the campaign.

AFP looks back at some of the moments when the pandemic upended the contest, including Donald Trump’s hospitalization and how the party conventions became virtual events.

The pandemic robs Democratic candidate Joe Biden of one of his key attributes: a personal connection with voters.

For two months he confined himself at home, in his basement in Delaware.

His Republican opponent and incumbent Donald Trump derides him as “Sleepy Joe” and his campaign accuses Biden of “hiding” in his basement.

But Biden stresses he is taking the kinds of precautions necessary, and his approach later proves to be a stark contrast with Trump’s -- who will be harshly criticized for his downplaying of the illness.

Looking to revive his campaign, Trump held a large rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20. It is the first indoor political rally since the start of the pandemic and is widely criticised.

The discovery of six positive cases in the organizing team on the morning of the rally does not deter the plan to hold it.

Participants have their temperatures checked and masks are distributed, but the majority of those attending the rally do so with their faces uncovered.

Weeks after the rally, cases jump in Tulsa and local health officials say it is “more than likely” that major events are a contributing factor.

On August 20, the Democratic convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was cut down to a two-hour event involving Zoom, video clips and pre-recorded messages followed by silence, when usually there would be cheers and applause from thousands of participants.

On August 25, keen to upstage his opponent, Trump appeared in person to inaugurate the Republican convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.But after long resisting any change to conventions as big festive occasions, Trump finally accepts a broadly virtual format, with the exception of his appearance on the opening day.

On September 22, the US marked a grim milestone: topping 200,000 virus deaths.- AFP