Political war and 3 other consequences of the Coronavirus

The recent pandemic has rocked the world of politics.


Taking advantage of the COVID-19 crisis, President Donald Trump has promoted his anti-immigrant policies. / Photo: Reuters

LatinamericanPost| Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: Guerra política y otras 3 consecuencias del Coronavirus

Not only social relations, the economy, entertainment and sporting events have been affected by the pandemic that has erupted since the end of 2019. Politics, as expected, has been another one of the areas of life that has collapsed because of the Coronavirus .

First, in the confrontation between the United States and China that has been increasing for about a year, the growth of the virus has been one more excuse for Donald Trump to attack the Asian country. The health crisis led to evidence of hidden tension that seemed to have begun to subside since the signing of the first agreement between the two countries.

On the one hand, the US president, who has been branded as xenophobic on several occasions, referred to the pandemic via Twitter as "the Chinese virus", which caused great outrage on social media. But this ended up being just one more comment in the middle of a discussion about who could be responsible for starting the epidemic.

Contrary to official statements of the start of the virus, which had patient zero as a person in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in March a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, said that it could have been the US military that had brought the virus to China and that thanks to that the current health emergency would have been unleashed. According to the BBC, this statement was based on the fact that the army attended the "World Military Games, held in Wuhan in October with the participation of more than 100 countries shortly before that city became ground zero."

However, this was not the first accusation on the part of the party. US Republican Senator Tom Cotton had insisted that the virus could have been started in a laboratory, purposely sparking the contagion. This "theory" has been widely rejected by scientists who claim that the virus was transmitted from animal to person and then from person to person.

Also read: Coronavirus: state of emergency in Latin America

What is certain is that the Coronavirus has allowed the confrontations between both nations to increase and the tension between superpowers grows again. This turns out to be just one of the examples of how the coronavirus has also affected political life. Here are three other cases in America that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.

Postponed elections

The interim president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, announced that the presidential elections will be postponed due to the health emergency.

The elections were to be held on May 3 and Áñez would be chosen as president , rising to power after the resignation of Evo Morales and only for the period in which a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) was consolidated and they carried out these elections again.

Bolivia currently has 24 confirmed cases and, although the figure is not yet very high, a 14-day quarantine was decreed. Despite the fact that the 14 days would be fulfilled before the stipulated date for the elections, the TSE decided that it was better to postpone the elections until further notice since it will not be possible to comply with the previous calendar. 

Trump's immigration policy

In the midst of the increase in Coronavirus cases in the United States, President Donald Trump has taken the opportunity to boost his anti-immigration policy, ensuring that there is a need to "reduce the incentive for global mass migration", for which he announced the closure of America´s borders with Mexico and Canada.

Also read: Study shows best practices to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19

The new measures announced by the president include the immediate expulsion of undocumented migrants, with no opportunity for temporary detention or review for asylum cases. The statements of Trump, who spoke about this at a press conference, showed that the Coronavirus was only an excuse to carry out these controls, since he himself said that it was an old objective that he had, and that now, the greatest number of border controls had to be implemented.

Prison crisis in Colombia

Overcrowding and poor prison conditions in Colombia is not a new topic. Many congressmen and collectives have struggled to improve the precariousness of the prisons in the South American country for many years , but the increase in the coronavirus brought the nonconformities to the surface, triggering a series of violent events in the main prisons of the country.

In the middle of the preventive quarantine that Bogotá lived last weekend, a riot took place at the La Modelo prison in the capital. The Covid-19 became a concern for inmates, who assured that with the precarious sanitary conditions in which they live it would be very easy to get infected, in addition to the overcrowding in which they live. The above unleashed a riot in this and other prisons in the country that the authorities could not contain.

Subsequently, confrontations between inmates and authorities took place, which  ended with a balance of 23 dead prisoners, 80 more wounded and 7 wounded oficials . This became a call for public policies to favor the conditions of those who are deprived of their liberty in the country.

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