Editorial:US election and a black swan event

【明報專訊】In many ways, this year's US election is unprecedented in the past 100 years or so. In terms of public sentiment, the current degree of social division and political polarisation in the US is far greater than any period in the 20th century. In terms of the economy, the US's GDP contracted by nearly 10% in the second quarter amid the pandemic, surpassing the record of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Although the latest data shows that the third quarter's GDP rebounded significantly, the economy has only returned to the size of the first quarter of 2018. As Trump prioritises the economy over the fight against the pandemic, the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the US has reached 10 million, with nearly 100,000 confirmed cases per day. If it is said that the fight against the pandemic is a ''battle'' for the defence of the country and people, Americans have never faced such a comprehensive ''battle'' since World War II, not to mention electing a president under such circumstances.