Covid-19 and a traumatic presidential election rocked the US in 2020, but even if Donald Trump is gone and Joe Biden promises to heal the nation, there won’t be a quick return to normal in 2021.
For many in the world’s richest country, 2020 was the year that never seemed to end – a never-ending series of horror film sequels that rocked the economy, politics, and society themselves.
Biden, an old-school Washington politician who believes in traditional US diplomacy and what he calls “decency,” was elected with a promise to stop the chaos. “It’s time to turn the page,” he said this week.
Notable will be the change in sentiment in the White House after the inauguration day on January 20th.
It gets all the attention a president can get and a meek leader who says he wants to “lower the temperature”.
But Trump clearly has no intention of giving up the limelight – or allowing the United States to forget the nationalist and populist passions that his administration worked so hard to fuel.
His extraordinary decision to deny he lost the election more than a month after it entered is only part of what he hopes to be yet another Trump-centered drama that may culminate in a new presidential campaign in 2024 .
And Biden will have another, tougher enemy on his neck: Covid-19.
Although vaccines are now going online, the virus is deadliest, killing thousands of Americans every day. It is forecast to get worse before winter is over.
Trump has tried to pay tribute to the ultra-fast development of vaccines – one of the few good news from 2020.
But it will largely be left to Biden for the next year to oversee the unprecedented logistical task of delivering doses in 50 states.
And while Trump can blame the catastrophic disruption of the economy CoronavirusIt will be Biden who will be reminded of what will happen during the hoped-for recovery in 2021.
With Trump running for a second term, it may always have been inevitable that 2020 would be a wild year.
The rule-breaking Republican began his year with an acquittal along the lines of partisan politics in impeachment proceedings against the Senate. Encouraged, he then stormed the re-election path and held rally after rally in front of large crowds.
The Trump campaign machine was so well funded and so determined that its then manager Brad Parscale compared it to the Death Star in “Star Wars,” a weapon that was poised to destroy anything in its path.
The Democrats started the year facing a long, dangerous busy season with a staggering two dozen candidates.
Obviously, Trump imagined his chances.
Unemployment was down, the stock market at historic highs, and in January Trump reached a ceasefire in his trade war with China, which he signed as a huge win.
Yes, he was historically unpopular, but what abused him by the left, like his rhetoric against immigrants, was revered by the right.
He even joked in front of his crowd that not only would he win four more years, but an unconstitutional extra eight, twelve or more.
What nobody knew in the first days of the year was that the Covid-19 The virus, initially an unknown disease in distant China, was about to change the landscape.
At the end of January, the Chinese city of Wuhan was severely closed and Trump had stopped travel from China. But for months he and many others in the United States seemed to fail to understand, or at least accept, what was happening.
Trump called Covid the “invisible enemy”.
It was an invisible force that would kill more than 300,000 Americans by mid-December and destroy Trump’s entire message of re-election of success and strength.
Biden, who campaigned heavily on his claim to be the safe couple for a troubled America, will now face the monumental task of leading the country to recovery.
He will do this by flicking Trump off the sidelines and a Republican opposition party that has moved far to the right in the past four years and embraces Trump’s scorched earth brand.
Biden’s own party may not be an easy partner either, as the Democratic left wing is in no mood to keep the line.
Two runoff elections in Georgia for the Senate on Jan. 5 will determine who controls the House of Lords – and, in large part, how much margin Biden has to maneuver.
However, 78-year-old Biden has insisted that he enter this new era with hope.
As he said in August, accepting the Democratic nomination, “History will tell that the end of this chapter of American darkness began here tonight.”