Trump, Biden & The Politics of Pandemic

Microscopic view of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

And we’re back. Nearly two months into the pandemic, the immediate public health response is underway, and politics have crept back into the picture. Here are 5 things to know.

Trump — The President is chafing under the restrictions imposed by the crisis, and the first moment it’s safe to do so, he’s gonna bolt the White House and hold the biggest, baddest rally ever imagined. The President doesn’t want the November election to be only about how he’s handled the crisis, but wants to make it a choice between him and the Joe Biden that he’s going try to disqualify. Watch out!

Biden — Over the past few weeks, a chorus of voices from all corners of the political spectrum have made it a necessity for the Vice President to address allegations of sexual assault from 1993. Today, on Morning Joe, he forcefully denied the charges, while trying to show respect for the #MeToo movement. Will it be successful? Too early to say. But one thing is clear — Trump-backers and reporters looking for their Pulitzer won’t let it drop any time soon.

Politics of the PPP — Turns out that well-constructed government programs make a difference. The Paycheck Protection Program, while a lifeline to small businesses, has opened the door to abuse from large companies who have applied for assistance and siphoned millions or billions away from intended recipients. Where will it end? Nowhere good, but expect congressional investigations and more large companies to give back money as the spotlight turns to them.

TSLA — What the heck is Elon thinking. I mean who tweets “Tesla stock price is too high imo”. Of course, the Tesla stock sank almost immediately, and you can be sure that shareholder lawsuits and SEC investigations will follow. I know we’re all stuck at home, but, c’mon man. The rules still apply even in a pandemic.

Amazon — The blockbuster WSJ investigation on private labels that we shared last week is having an impact. House Democrats are planning to haul Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in front of Congress to ask questions. Some have said that techlash would disappear with the crisis. Sure it went dormant for a few months, but, when it comes to competition policy at least, there will continue to be heightened scrutiny, especially for internet giants.


Cyber Corner

Courtesy of Josh Zecher

The Cyber Pivot

We are nearing a critical inflection point in the battle against COVID-19. States are starting to re-open, and those that have not are finalizing their plans for phasing in a “return to a new normal.”

Last month, we saw companies with traditional office settings convert to remote offices overnight. That brought new significant cybersecurity challenges for companies of every size, shape and market.

The rapid shift to remote work provided tremendous opportunities for cyber companies and experts to provide assistance and tremendous opportunities for bad actors to try to take advantage of the situation as detailed here: AxiosBusiness Insider & CISO Mag.  But — as King George III says in Hamilton — “What comes next?

CDC guidelines have outlined a business environment in which we don’t all go back to our old offices, but the shift “back to work” will create hybrid organizations that need will need to support both traditional offices and remote offices and workers.

The experts and companies that can provide perspective, analysis and data on the next cyber steps in this new Age of the Pandemic will attract both customers and attention.

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