Biden and Trump in the Age of Contagion

It is too early to say that the Democratic nomination has been chanted. Sanders tends to make a sound, but has not yet withdrawn. But the results are no longer doubtful.

Joe is likely to vote in this "mini super Tuesday" in at least five states [Mr. Sanders won with Hillary Clinton in 2016 Four of these states] put the former vice almost in the lead.

Next week, well-represented Florida primaries may leave him out of reach. The real question is how long Mr. Sanders has succumbed to the inevitable, and on what conditions. In fierce negotiations [Mr. Sanders agrees with Biden's price], Democratic unity or division will become a reality.

But even before these latest primaries, American thought had shifted to popularity. In the past few , the grim reality of spreading the coronavirus has been quickly resolved. In the next round of voting, with speculation from the political class, Americans realized the prospects of closing schools, telecommuting, temporary layoffs, cancelling flights, and the new etiquette of "social alienation."

The American response from Italy has almost stopped the livelihood of the Democratic campaign. Both Mr Biden and Mr Sanders have cancelled future meetings. Their next -the first one with only two people-will be held on Sunday without an audience.

The question of whether the United States should adopt Italian-style containment measures increasingly excludes other issues. Biden will speak on Thursday about how he will respond to the epidemic. Donald Trump has proposed conspiracy theories that Democrats overstate the spread of the and trigger a recession. Shortly after Mr Biden said he was canceling the rally, Mr Trump announced his own mass rally in Milwaukee this weekend.

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With the emergence of symbolic gestures, Trump's addiction to the rally may be caused by Lu Re. Just two weeks ago, Mr. Trump told the United States that the number of coronavirus infections is likely to drop to zero. At that time, the total number of local infections was 15. The 984 virus has now been confirmed. Epidemiologists say that if the United States tests its citizens on the same scale as other countries, the true number could be as high as 20,000 and grow exponentially. The gap what Mr. Trump has said and reality cannot be resolved on Twitter.

The second problem is the growing annoying communication in mental health. Mr Trump said Mr Biden "does not know where or what he is doing." His personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Mr Biden had "dementia." There is no evidence that Biden has suffered no other than aging and stuttering throughout his life. To minimize the chance of malaise or "Bidenisms," his assistants significantly reduced their public speaking sessions by a few minutes. Mr. Trump's team has no control over the time or content of his appearance. The president claims to know more about the epidemic than experts, partly because his uncle is a scientist, which has heightened questions about his mental health. Mr Biden has been responding in kind. Last weekend, he mocked Trump's self-proclaimed "very stable genius."

The debate is brewing in an epidemic that could trigger a U.S. recession. Bloomberg's average forecasters now believe that this is more than 50% more likely. The economic downturn will severely damage Trump's chances of reelection, and it is thought that his failure to properly control the epidemic could also cause significant damage.

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Trump, Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders will also be exposed to the virus the campaign, which is not a small risk. Everyone is more likely to shake hands than any other American. Even if they switch to clapping, there are many hand cleaners, and it is still difficult for them to adhere to the rules of keeping distance from the society. As a person in the 1970s, the presidential contenders in the United States belong to high-risk groups.

All this gives a very different sheen to the customary "high stakes" cliché. Welcome to the sane presidential race for candidates. Politics are also welcomed in an age of spread.

edward.luce@ft.com

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