Pole Position on COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave

Pole Position with Tomasz Wróblewski and Agaton Koziński looks at the pandemic’s second wave and what it’s doing to Central Europe and to the US elections.

See full programme here.

The summer has departed and the second wave of the pandemic has arrived with the autumn leaves. This time around Central Europe is not getting off lightly. In Poland daily infection rates have topped 8,000 and in Czechia and Slovakia governments have introduced states of emergency. Health services are reporting an alarming increase in the number of cases requiring hospitalization. But there are those who deny that the pandemic is real or that it requires a strong response. Poland has witnessed several demonstrations of people protesting against wearing of face protectors and other restrictions. Owners of catering, hospitality and entertainment outlets are once again fearful for their future, especially as this time around the government is signalling that it can’t afford generous compensation.

The pandemic is taking its toll on the US presidential election. There has been a sharp increase in the number of postal votes and of early voting. This is expected to favour the Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden who has taken a commanding two figure lead in most opinion polls. President Trump has recovered from his bout of the virus, but there is now little time left to turn the tide. Donald Trump’s administration has established close ties with Central Europe, especially Poland with more US troops stationed in the region, LNG gas exports and visa free travel for Poles being the most tangible results.