In the oval office, President Kaufman sits down behind his desk. He watches as the two journalists allowed in the room (standing six feet apart with masks on, of course) shift from one foot to the other on the opposite side of the room. They seem to ardently avoid eye-contact with the leader. He knows that whatever he says at this moment will make tomorrow morning’s TV and newspaper headlines. These days, journalists relied solely on information from the White House and other government subsidiaries— unable to fact check information with outside sources in most cases. How could they, when there was no real database for information on an unknown virus like COVID?
The results, however, will take many days to come in — counting by hand will take an endless amount of time as the government attempts to verify an already-contentious election. The lack of a real verification system makes things all the more difficult.
It is nearly impossible for around 10% of the nation to vote in the election: as healthcare workers and other essential workers are swamped with work. There are so many bodies to count, so many pairs of lungs to attempt to revive. The number of dead are nearly impossible to compute without a real centralized database across the number of hospitals across the country. The White House has attempted to create a written record via a system of researchers tasked with recording the number of sick and dead at the end of each day, but it was nearly impossible. There are so many individuals out there — unaware of where their loved ones were, unaware of just how bad the damage had become.
President Kaufman, of course, uses this to his advantage. Who wouldn’t? In downplaying the extent to which the pandemic has impacted the US, he ensures his own success as a politician. Journalists, without their own centralized policy or research system, are unable to contest his information. He could almost see their pens now — scribbling down every last word in his upcoming speech. It seems that he has every one of them exactly where he wants them to be.
As President Kaufman watches, the cameraman signals to him: 3, 2, 1….
“Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen, and thank you for all voting in today’s election.”
It was going to be a hell of a few days.