As the United States enters what looks to be a prolonged recession, more and more of the small town and rural voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who sent President Donald Trump to the White House in 2016 are turning away from the president and towards Vice President Joe Biden. These voters are likely attracted to Vice President Biden’s long record of public service, including his instrumental efforts in helping steer the U.S. out of the Great Recession in 2009.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, there are a combined 169,000 coronavirus cases and 13,024 deaths due to complications from the virus. And everyday, the harsh economic reality sets in. As of May, Michigan’s unemployment rate is the third highest in the nation, at 21.2%, Pennsylvania’s is 13.1%, and Wisconsin’s is 12%. The preventable pandemic and ensuing economic collapse have torn through people’s lives in each of these three states. Over 2.1 million workers across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are out of work Рlikely the highest figures in each of their respective histories.

The historically high unemployment numbers in these states exacerbate the challenges facing American manufacturing and trade that have gotten worse during Trump’s presidency. In 2019, U.S. manufacturing was in recession, despite the president’s promises to magically boost manufacturing industries during his first term. And the president’s self-started trade war has devastated American businesses and consumers by prompting retaliatory tariffs to be levied against American businesses, causing significant damage to American exports.

In January, President Trump was briefed by intelligence officials on the threat of coronavirus spreading rapidly within U.S. borders, and instead of taking immediate action to prevent the potential pandemic, the president continued to deny its very existence until mid-March — leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths and an avoidable economic catastrophe. According to experts, at least 54,000 deaths could have been avoided and the country could have opened earlier if President Trump acted quickly and decisively to stop the virus.

To this day, hospitals and medical workers face an extreme shortage of masks and critical protective supplies to fight back against the virus because of a lack of adequate leadership from the President. And yet, in February, at the same time Trump was downplaying coronavirus, the Trump Administration sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies – including masks and respirators – to China.

Recently, President Trump blatantly stated he wanted to slow down testing so fewer positive results would  be shown to the public. If he were successful in halting testing efforts, it would lead to a spike in unknown cases and contribute to a rampant, undetected spread of the virus across the country.

Aside from the ongoing failure to address the pandemic, the President continues his work behind the scenes to rip away health care from the American people. After unsuccessfully attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, the Trump Administration is currently in court attempting to dismantle the entire law. If they are successful in destroying this life-saving law, 19.9 million Americans would lose their coverage and 135.4 million would face higher premiums because of pre-existing conditions. This includes 720,000 Michiganders, 858,000 Pennsylvanians, and 153,000 Wisconsinites. This lawsuit would also put the life of any American who recovers from the virus at risk, especially considering COVID-19’s chronic, long-term impacts on health including hearth damage or lung scarring.

As thousands of folks across Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin continue to grapple with the loss of family members and friends or watch in dismay at the grim state of the American economy, President Trump is claiming his administration did ‚Äútoo good‚ÄĚ a job in handling COVID-19. Aside from the rising number of cases and over 200,000 dead Americans, job losses during Trump‚Äôs presidency will far exceed those during the 2008 financial crisis – a crisis that hit these three states particularly hard. President Trump has objectively failed the biggest test of his presidency.

In November, voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin who decided the 2016 election will go to the ballot box and choose between the President Trump, who bungled a pandemic and caused a recession, or former Vice President Joe Biden, a Scranton, PA son, whose steady leadership and decisive efforts alongside President Obama after the 2008 Great Recession led to a decade of economic growth and recovery.


Contact Chai Karve at ckarve@americanbridge.org