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Don't Worry: An October Surprise Vaccine Will Not Save Donald Trump

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 3, 2020 |


I cannot imagine a worse confluence of events than the ones that we have experienced over the last five months and will continue to experience at least for the next six months. It is bad enough that we have been hit with a pandemic, but it is worse than it comes while a reality-show host, Donald Trump, is our President, and worse still that a potential vaccine may arrive close to an election. I cannot stress this enough: We are boned.

There are currently a ton of vaccines in development, as we all know, and there are about 3 or 4 that could actually be approved by the FDA by the end of the year. A vaccine has never been produced this quickly, and obviously, when a vaccine is produced this quickly while Donald Trump — who promotes hydroxychloroquine and a doctor who believes in demon sperm — is overseeing it, there are going to be lot of liberal and/or reasonable people who are going to be skeptical. Meanwhile, there’s also a host of right-wing nutjobs who believe that Coronavirus is a hoax and that all of this was ginned up by Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci so that they could make billions of dollars on a vaccine. Add to that a lot of nationalism/racism, and China/Russia potentially hacking into the computers of vaccine scientists, and we have a goddamn soup of trouble.

Add to that growing concerns about an “October Surprise,” in which a vaccine is made available by AstraZeneca (via Oxford University) or Moderna (as overseen by Dr. Fauci) and we’ve got even bigger problems, because there will be a lot of people who will refuse to take it over fears that it is not safe because Trump cut corners, and still others who won’t take it over a distrust fo the Brits or because Dr. Fauci is overseeing it.

It’s going to be a political nightmare.

But I will say this: A surprise October vaccine — even one that is 100 percent safe and effective — will not change Donald Trump’s electoral fortunes. Donald Trump has been sitting at 40-41 percent for pretty much his entire presidency. When things get really bad, he might dip to 38 percent. When things are going well, he might jump to 42 percent, which is not enough to defeat Joe Biden, at least not without a bunch of funny business.

In fact, if there is a surprise October vaccine, I think a lot of us would be even more inclined to vote for Joe Biden, because who do you want overseeing the rollout of that vaccine over the next six months to a year? Joe Biden, or the guy who has overseen the disastrous federal response to the coronavirus? An October surprise will not immediately reverse the economic numbers. An October surprise will not magically cure us all. It will not bring back the probably 200,000 plus who will have died by then. It will not reverse whatever nightmare ensues when schools restart later this month. It will not change the fact that Trump was impeached, or how badly he has mishandled the BLM protests, or that he used the military to clear protestors so that he could stand in front of a church with a Bible for a photo op. Every one has made up their mind on Donald Trump. He’s down by 10 points. It may wiggle one or two points this way or that, but things aren’t going to shift dramatically unless Joe Biden dies.

The thing is: I trust the scientists. They’re not going to bone us. Trump may f**k this all up in the way that the vaccine is eventually administered, but I trust that when a vaccine is made available, it will be safe and effective, because even if the White House has no idea what it’s doing, the scientists do. It’s gonna be hilarious, though, when Trump makes that vaccine available first to “Suburban Housewives” and no one else in an effort to win over that demo ahead of the election.

(Reminder: I will be using Kate Beckinsale photos in lieu of Donald Trump photos for both aesthetic and superstitious reasons until election day.)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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