Colors: Cyan Color

It should surprise no one that the global pandemic known as COVID-19, a.k.a. coronavirus, a.k.a. Wuhan virus, has become a political hot-button issue. Given the tense relationship (which is nearly always at a breaking point) between the Trump administration, the Democrats, and their media counterparts, any crisis turns political. Combine that with a Presidential election in eight months, and this latest disaster was never going to be a unifying moment for the country.

 In one of the greatest turnarounds in modern Presidential election history, Joe Biden roared into first place in the Democratic primary this past week. Bernie Sanders, whom the Democratic establishment viewed as someone who couldn’t beat incumbent Donald Trump, is at risk of getting another candidacy stolen from him when the final delegates are counted.

The Friday preceding Shabbos Ki Sisa seemed like an episode of the popular television action series 24, with the situation escalating hour by hour; but instead of 24, the number was 18:42, the candle-lighting time when all electronic communications ceased in the Jewish community.

Can the floor of the NYSE really shut down? Volatility is not the word to describe the current market index skydives, but the onset and instability of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has made this an uncertainty of the day. Investors have much anxiety over a global recovery from COVID-19 as its effects will take a significant time to recoup. President Donald Trump’s payroll tax cut for the airline, travel, and cruise line industries was a potential fix, but it certainly falls short. El Al has suspended 80 percent of its workforce with unpaid leave, and the IRS is deliberating extending the April 15 income tax deadline, something previously only done for select areas experiencing a natural disaster. The stock market is not the economy, but recently investors have sold shares and fled to government bonds, gold, and short-term Treasury bills to avoid virus setbacks.

 We just celebrated Purim, with its theme of v’nahafoch hu – the sudden turnaround of events. We have seen a similar turnaround in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Two weeks ago, it looked like the Super Tuesday primaries would give Bernie Sanders an insurmountable lead. But the actual results revitalized the campaign of Joe Biden and made the battle for the Democratic nomination a two-way race. It is now time for all of us to unite around Joe Biden in that race.