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Don’t Expect the Coronavirus Epidemic in the U.S. to Bring Down President Trump

Alex de Waal explores the political repercussions of epidemics throughout history, via an article for The Conversation.

The Trump administration’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis has been widely condemned by health experts. 

But if the administration’s bungling proves costly to Trump in the November election, it will be an exception to the historical rule that epidemics haven’t led to political unrest or governments being voted out of office. 

Some kinds of health crises do have political consequences: Hunger has toppled governments. From the French revolution to the Arab Spring, food shortages have routinely caused riots and occasionally sparked revolutions. In the case of starvation, political cause and personal result are intuitively clear to those suffering: My family has gone hungry because the government has failed to ensure there’s enough food.

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