U.S. election year shaped by pandemic and Trump's defiance
Jacksonville, United StatesPhotography byTom BrennerandReuters Photographers. Reporting byJames Oliphant.
The U.S. presidential election was defined at first by a paralyzing coronavirus pandemic that upended traditional campaigning and then by President Donald Trump's frenzied but failing efforts to reverse his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
The pandemic – and Trump's handling of it – proved to be a big reason why Trump lost. A majority of Americans believed he didn't take the outbreak seriously enough. He flouted safety protocols and insisted the country return to normal as the economy ground to a halt. More than 286,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19 in the United States, by far the worst hit country.
When the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14 to cast its votes, Biden's victory will be official. While Trump seems intent on refusing to concede, the expectation remains that he will leave office on Jan. 20, when Biden will be sworn in as the nation's 46th president.
PHOTO EDITING GABRIELLE FONSECA JOHNSON; TEXT EDITING SOYOUNG KIM AND ROSALBA O'BRIEN; LAYOUT JULIA DALRYMPLE