Coronavirus pandemic biggest test for Trump administration

4 The Record

Questions of response likely to be campaign issue

Here are some of the topics our panel tackled on 4 The Record this week:

+ It’s basically down to Biden and Bernie for the Democrats.

+ We’ve seen a rough couple of weeks on Wall Street. Bear market and recession are creeping back into the vocabulary.

+ The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is not only a health threat — it could be the biggest threat to the current administration.

All of these came up in a conversation with former Illinois Congressman Phil Hare, a Democrat, and former Rock Island County Republican Party Chair Bill Bloom.

Coronavirus

It is dominating the conversation and for good reason. The number of cases in the United States, Iowa and Illinois keeps rising.

There are big questions about the response to the threat from the federal government and the Trump administration’s decision to fire the pandemic response team in 2018.

It was a branch of the National Security Council.

Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer left his leadership position with the Global Health Security team and National Security Adviser Tom Bossert was fired before him.

The Washington Post reported he was calling for a detailed policy to deal with pandemics and biological attacks.

That team responsible for coordinating a pandemic response was not replaced.

Tom Bossert warns hospitals could soon be overwhelmed and unable to handle the patient load if the spread isn’t kept in check.

Bloom and Hare discussed if this is a bigger challenge than Iran, North Korea and trade with China for the Trump administration and what political implications there are.

Economic impact

We’re already seeing a massive economic impact from this.

The suspension of America’s favorite sports pastimes: NBA, NHL Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour and the NCAA tournament –among others.

They generate billions of dollars and they’ve stopped.

Manufacturing supply chains have come to a halt.

Then there’s one of President Trump’s favorite indicators: the stock market.

The Dow’s plummet the last few weeks have almost wiped out all of the gains seen during the Trump administration.

The economy has been President Trump’s saving grace, his all powerful Kryptonite against impeachment and any other criticism sent his way.

Political analysts like to predict elections by saying, “It’s the economy stupid.”

Hare and Bloom addressed if it is, in fact, going to be the economy this election year and how much this affects the president?

Illinois primary

No offense to Tulsi Gabbard, but the Democratic presidential nomination is coming down to former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ chances look much slimmer after Super Tuesday, but he’s not quitting.

Bloom and Hare talked about how much the Illinois Primary matters this year, what influence Sanders can have the longer he stays in the race, how Republicans approach the resurgence of Biden and how important the choice of a running mate is.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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