Five ways a coronavirus pandemic could change the 2020 election

5) When socialism comes to America, it may be wrapped in a respirator mask and carrying tissues.

And yet, if a global pandemic threatens to validate Trump’s exclusionary nationalism, it could also alert Americans to our collective interest in socialized medicine and paid sick leave. After all, in the context of an epidemic, the inability of any one U.S. resident to access health care — or take off from work when ill — doesn’t just imperil that individual; it undermines the health and safety of anyone in his or her proximity…

A health-care system (and/or political economy) that imposes draconian punishments on people who take socially responsible measures in response to a viral outbreak seems liable to lose legitimacy in the midst of a pandemic — especially if the Democratic nominee happens to be the standard-bearer of a movement for transforming the U.S. health-care system.