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Ill be honest, i actually felt sorry for donald trump when my husband woke me up at 2am to tell me he had tested positive for coronavirus. i mean, the man is so clearly circling the drain politically, professionally and personally that its hard not to feel a bit of empathy. but boy, what justice. blow off the deaths of 200,000 people in a televised debate, and see what happens? one of my favourite social media comments came from china, where someone said: finally, trump has tweeted something positive.

If polls are to be believed, biden had a very comfortable margin before the debates, and benefited from them, since trumps bellicosity played as desperation not strength. now, i can only think that a full democratic sweep has become more likely. biden is out of the basement, trump is in it, and that means that republicans are going to have to rethink their whole approach to the campaign just one month before the election. amy coney barrett, who already purportedly tested positive to the virus over the summer, will recede as a political spectacle and that could be problematic for democrats, and biden will have so much more airtime to talk about policy and other serious things. his trademark empathy appeared to extend even to the president, winning him more points still, as he gave his campaign strict orders to not speak ill of trump while he was in the hospital and pulled negative campaign ads.

Ed, do you agree with my analysis? can this be anything but a total operational and strategic advantage for dems?

As for markets and the economy, i suspect volatility will subside a bit if biden remains far and away the frontrunner. i think its still possible that equities dip, too, in this case, since it will become clearer that trumps corporate tax boondoggles are over, and we will finally see a bit of a pendulum shift from capital to labour.in terms of the real main street economy, i would imagine that red state governors might now be a bit more careful about reopenings, and you may see more caution on the part of corporations and schools too. that would probably result in a contraction of gross domestic product in the short term, but in the long run could actually help us economic growth recover and stabilise more quickly if it means we can get a second wave in check sooner.

That said, no matter who is in the white house, its clear that when we fully emerge from the pandemic, the entire economy is going to be different. big changes coming for workers, corporations and policymakers. thats the topic of my latest column (i wont scoop myself by saying more, so go read it). while you are at it, read the below, too.

Rana, ive believed fora while that trump was very likely to losethis election. since march i've thought coronavirus would be his downfall. this is what i wrote in may. i hadnt necessarily anticipated he would contract the disease, house of cards-style, this close to the election. and i have no idea how quickly he will recover. he has been almost wilfully egging nature on to give him the disease. it isfranklya shock that he took this long to come down with it. do i want him to suffer? no. i genuinely have no wish to see trump die, or even lose capacity. i have always opposed capital punishment because i believe its the easy way out. by the same token i would like to see trump resume normal duties in full health in order to face a heavy defeat in november. the man deserves to hear his verdict and suffer a life-long sentence.

Nevertheless, i would prefer that his experience with the disease would not lead to him proclaiming, bolsonaro-style, that this pathogen is no worse than the common cold.that would be an ever greater disservice to the people who slavishly hang on his every word than all the other nonsense he has emitted since this pandemic began. as others have written, trump is a superspreader of lies in an infodemic that has killed people. millions of americans do not wear masks because trump has decreed that masks denote liberalism. the man is monstrously irresponsible. i want him to be fully healthy and aware and cognisant of reality when he faces defeat, as i do hope that he will. i cannot be sure that will happen. democracy is a haphazard business. as my former boss, larry summers, once said: there are idiots. look around. but i would ferventlylike to add my thoughts and prayers for his relatively speedy recovery. i am not a deeply religious type but i am praying for him to get well.

And now a word from our swampians...

In response to should we bring it home?: i wonder if you see any similarities between the uighurs and some of our citizens residing in so called right to work states. the lack of protections in the workplace from union representation lead tolower wages,increased economic inequality and poverty rates andlower availability and quality of healthcare. the uighurs treatment is more extreme and violent, but i see very similar end results garnered in a more socially acceptable manner in this country...i think bringing these jobs home with low wages in right to work areas might be more harmful in the long term without some serious changes here. ed montleon, massachusetts