Donald Trump claimed his response to the coronavirus could ‘help, not hurt’ him in the 2020 election, but Cockburn suspects another candidate stands to benefit much more — Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Researchers have suggested that men may be more susceptible to contracting coronavirus due to certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking (bad news for Cockburn). And, like most flu-like illnesses, older individuals are more likely to die from the virus. This is very bad news for both Trump and Joe Biden, whose supporters tend to be older males.
So far, 11 people have been killed by coronavirus in the US. But experts also predict the outbreak could get as bad as the Asian flu pandemic of 1957, which caused 70,000 US deaths, and that 40 to 70 percent of the world population could be infected. Even if the vast majority of infections are mild cases, coronavirus could cause major disruptions to society as individuals try to prevent further spread. This means a large portion of Trump or Biden voters may refrain from voting or be unable to go vote.
Bernie, meanwhile, has much heavier support among young people, who are less likely to become very ill from coronavirus. The effect of the virus on older white men could help Bernie make up for the fact that his young base is not turning out to vote at high rates. On Super Tuesday for example, the youth did not show up in as large numbers as in 2016.
The virus could be Bernie’s last, best hope. If he manages to secure the Democratic primary, he could also get a helpful boost from coronavirus when it comes to challenging Trump on the economy. The stock markets have been unpredictable because of business’s fears of a major outbreak, and companies are having a difficult time keeping up production for emergency purchases like hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, masks and more. A major crash just before the election could very well be the dirt on Trump’s political grave.
Bernie has yet to indicate who he would choose as his running mate should he win the Democratic primary — the late Sen. Warren or self-appointed Georgia Gov. Stacey Abrams — but he may not need one if he has COVID-19 on his side.