This is the first time in modern history that the US held presidential elections in the middle of a pandemic. In truth, the US elections may have overshadowed COVID-19 and the side effects are limitless. America is facing a tough crisis of discontentment with the current administration. An understandable case but a situation that may have led many to forget the threat of all the current issues the world is facing right now. How was the COVID-19 response affected by the US Presidential elections?
Elections overshadowed COVID-19 regulations
The pandemic gave added difficulty to the 2020 elections and this is understandable. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given continuous reminders to voters and the local government to enforce COVID-19 regulations during the elections. It was up to local authorities to set up all health protocols they can to protect both the poll workers and the voters. Truthfully, it is difficult to say if there was any success in enforcing COVID-19 regulations during election day.
The CDC only provided recommendations for health protocols. The institution released recommended guidelines on how local authorities could protect their volunteers and constituents. However, there was no strict or standardized requirement for what polling stations should have followed on the day of the elections. Poll workers, despite the prolonged exposure to thousands of people on the day of elections, were not given full gear PPEs. Not all polling stations had social distancing markers for voters. It is unclear if there was a requirement for voters to wear a mask while voting. Being sick or in quarantine does not prevent any American from voting, and this is absolutely true. However, the US government nor the CDC did not provide nationwide protocols or special options for these individuals to vote. They were only given recommendations to “prevent” the spread of COVID-19 to poll workers and other voters.
Rallies on the streets
Rallies regarding elections have overshadowed COVID-19 even weeks before the elections. Before election day, people have taken the streets to voice out their protests about the candidates and their platforms. Now, groups are still staging protests about the results. Not only that, there are groups upon groups of people who are on the streets to celebrate the victories of their electoral bets. Thousands of people were and still are on the streets. It is difficult to say if these people were wearing masks or even observed proper distancing. Only one thing is for sure, the number for COVID-19 is still on the rise.