TIME magazine’s 2020 Person of the Year nominations are out and the public voting period has begun. The usual suspects are on the list and it is heavy with liberals, Democrats, political figures, and celebrities. This year, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, medical workers and first responders are up for the honor.
There is someone for everyone on the list of nominees. The voting period is underway now. The general public can vote for their selection online by visiting TIME’s website and selecting “yes” or “no” for each of the nominees. A winner will be declared on Dec. 10. The pandemic and the presidential election both played a large part in the nominees. Both President Trump and Joe Biden were nominated, as was Kamala Harris. Dr. Fauci is on the list. Fauci and essential workers were tied for the highest percentage of yes votes with 81%, with Kamala receiving 68%, Biden at 64%, Black Lives Matter activists at 61%, and Stacy Abrams at 59% as of Wednesday, so liberals are off to a strong start.
Governors Cuomo and Whitmer are nominated. Whitmer is the governor of Michigan who has unleashed her inner authoritarian during the pandemic. Cuomo killed thousands of elderly people in nursing homes with his COVID-19 policies. Yet, liberals would like to see them rewarded for their performances in office. Stacy Abrams, the self-appointed governor of Georgia, is credited for registering and organizing a record number of black voters in Georgia and increasing voter participation for the Democrats. Black Lives Matter is nominated for protesting the death of George Floyd and the protests and riots that continue today. Mitch McConnell also made the list.
Other politicians include AOC, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Additional nominees include WNBA basketball star Sue Bird, NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace, singer Ariana Grande, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, South Korean pop group BTS and NBA superstar LeBron James.
The list of 80 nominees also includes some surprise candidates, including Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, according to The Express. Other groups and people include: Soccer player Marcus Ashford — who launched a free school meals campaign — the World Health Organization and frontline health care workers, the report said.
If I was planning to vote, and I’m not, I would choose President Trump as the 2020 Person of the Year. The winners have mostly been from the political world in recent years, rather directly or indirectly, and Trump won the title in 2016. That year the title went to him for pulling off a historical win against Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. He is the first non-political person to win the presidency since Eisenhower. Since then the winners have been The Silence Breakers in 2017 who spoke out against sexual abuse and harassment, The Guardians in 2018 who are journalists who faced persecution, arrest or murder for their reporting, and last year, in 2019, it was Greta Thunberg, the precocious teenage climate change scold.
The winner is supposed to be recognized for an accomplishment or accomplishments. With the pandemic being the most significant factor in our lives in 2020, I think Trump is a likely candidate for the title this year. We can argue over his handling of the pandemic in his communication to Americans or his overly-optimistic attitude of a quick recovery from the virus, but what cannot be denied is his focus on getting a vaccine and therapeutics to treat the coronavirus. He deserves recognition for Operation Warp Speed. Trump isn’t a politician so he thinks outside the box. Unlike the previous administration, he didn’t just give up. Ron Klain, Joe Biden’s pick for his chief of staff, was in charge of dealing with two pandemics during the Obama-Biden administration. He failed and admits it. The Obama administration just got lucky that Ebola didn’t come here from Africa in the numbers that were feared at the time, and the N1H1 virus died out as a seasonal virus, like the flu, and it wasn’t as deadly as it was originally thought to be. Over the course of a year, the H1N1 flu infected 60 million Americans, but claimed only 12,469 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trump put Vice-President Pence in charge of the White House coronavirus task force. Trump convinced manufacturers and businesses to produce PPE and created Operation Warp Speed, a public-private partnership to develop a vaccine. A lot of things are called historic but this accomplishment truly is historic. Not one but several vaccines are in the final stages of development. By the end of the year, vaccines will be administered to millions of Americans. Eventually, every American will be encouraged to get a vaccination as they become available.
A second accomplishment for which Trump should be recognized is the Abraham Accord. This is a joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States reached in August. Since then other countries in the Middle East have drawn up their own agreements. It is the first normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. Bahrain and Israel signed an agreement on September 11, 2020. On October 23, 2020, Sudan formally agreed to normalize ties with Israel. Oman will likely be the next country to normalize relations with Israel. All of this will be especially important to Israel during the Biden-Harris administration, given Biden’s history of appeasing Iran.
For those two reasons, Trump deserves the Person of the Year award.
Every year there are plenty of deserving individuals and groups. This year if I was to guess, I’d guess that either Fauci or medical workers and first responders will likely be given the recognition. The U.S. is too divided and angry to award the honor to Trump, which is a shame.