Different Takes: Tonight’s Debate Can Help Steer Next Steps; So When Will The Country See The Next Round Of Fiscal Relief?
Opinion writers express views about the pandemic and other issues as well.
At VP Debate, Coronavirus Should Be Top Issue — Pence Must Answer For Over 210,000 Deaths
Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate will take place as America is embroiled in a historic crisis. Our president, first lady and several White House staffers have tested positive for COVID-19. The Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high-ranking military leaders are self-quarantining because of exposure to the deadly coronavirus that's on the rise in more than 20 states. More than 210,000 Americans have died and more than 7.4 million people in our country have been infected by the coronavirus, which has killed over 1 million people around the world and sent unemployment soaring in the U.S. and elsewhere. The pandemic has become the major issue in the presidential election that is already underway. The American people have a right to expect Republican Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris of California to discuss how to best respond to this crisis. (Richard Fowler, 10/7)
The Wall Street Journal:
Job One For The Veep: Explain Covid
When the vice-presidential candidates meet in Wednesday night’s debate, Subject One will be the coronavirus. President Trump tested positive and was hospitalized. Vice President Mike Pence has, since Feb. 26, chaired an administration task force. Here’s my wish. Let this be an opportunity for the country to remove its blinders. Some 7.4 million Americans have been infected with the virus. Or is it 74 million? According to Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the agency that the country relies on for such data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our testing as of late June was picking up perhaps 10% of cases. When we say 40,000 new infections are occurring daily, we might really mean 400,000 infections. When we imply that 2.2% of Americans have been infected, we may really mean 22%. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., 10/6)
The New York Times:
In-Person Debates Are Too Dangerous. Cancel Them.
President Trump, fresh from the hospital and still battling Covid-19, tweeted Tuesday morning that he is “looking forward” to his next debate with Joe Biden on Oct. 15. “FEELING GREAT!” he tweeted separately. Here’s hoping the president is indeed feeling better and will continue to get better still. Regardless, that event should not take place in person. Nor should the other remaining debates, including the matchup on Wednesday between the vice-presidential contenders, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence. (10/6)
Trump's Covid Relief Stall Holds U.S. Hostage To Economic Tragedy
This is what the collapse of a federal effort to aid workers, states, cities and businesses battered by the Covid-19 pandemic sounds like, via a series of presidential tweets: “Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business,” President Donald Trump allowed on Tuesday afternoon. (Timothy L. O'Brien, 10/6)
The Washington Post:
Trump Blows Up Stimulus Talks, And With Them Perhaps His Chances Of Reelection
Workers, businesses, and state and local officials have pleaded, for months, for more fiscal help. In recent days, it finally looked like that help was coming, as House Democratic leaders and the treasury secretary reportedly worked toward a compromise, perhaps one somewhat less generous than the bills the House had already passed. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, less than a month before the election, President Trump pulled the plug. The economy is already doing so very big-league greatly, he said, that no more fiscal aid is needed. Not until after Nov. 3, anyway. (Catherine Rampell, 10/6)
The New York Times:
Bidencare Would Be a Big Deal
In any case, how the nation votes will indeed make a huge difference to the future of health care — and not just because Trump, if he holds on to power, will almost surely find a way to destroy Obamacare, causing tens of millions of Americans to lose health insurance. Joe Biden, if he wins (and gets a Democratic Senate), will make a big difference in the other direction, substantially expanding coverage and reducing premiums for middle-class families. (Paul Krugman, 10/5)
Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Nov. 3 Could Decide Who Gets A COVID Vaccine First, And Who Must Wait
Whoever takes the oath of office as president of the United States on Jan. 20 will become the leader of a nation that is likely to be even more polarized than we are now. And yet he will immediately be faced with a dilemma that — morally, politically, and logistically — will be as delicate as any chief executive has had to wrestle with in decades:When we have a vaccine to end this pandemic, if we have a vaccine, who will get the first doses of protection? Who will be next in line — and next after that? And who will be required to wait at the end? (Jim Galloway, 10/6)
Trump's Claims On Lowering Prescription Drug Prices Are Only Campaign Rhetoric
As the Trump administration asks the Supreme Court to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, the president has made lowering prescription drug costs the core focus of his own plan to improve the American health care system. Responding to a question from moderator Chris Wallace during last week’s presidential debate about how the administration would replace ObamaCare, Trump shifted gears to repeat his claim that his administration’s policies will bring down drug prices 80 percent to 90 percent. (Varun Vaidya, 10/6)