Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Susan McWilliams Barndt

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Rights Information

2021 Meghan R Bobrowsky


As other countries have started to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the United States continues to struggle to gain a foothold on virus outbreaks because the Trump administration downplayed COVID-19 and mocked lockdowns and mask wearing. This inadequate response to the virus has made it unclear when the pandemic will end. But a popular fictional book series with a strikingly similar plot offers insights. This thesis conducts a comparative analysis of Trump’s handling of the pandemic and Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge’s handling of Lord Voldemort’s return in the Harry Potter book series. A comparison of the two leaders’ actions shows parallel denials of danger, spewing of misinformation, and attacking of individuals trying to disseminate the truth. In the Harry Potter series, Fudge is ultimately replaced by a new leader who does not turn out to be much better at solving the crisis at hand. Instead, it is a select group of highly trained individuals who are equipped to combat Lord Voldemort, called the Order of the Phoenix, that ends up ridding the Wizarding World of the Dark Lord. This comparison shows that Americans need to be skeptical of President Joe Biden and other future leaders, and focus on empowering scientists and infectious disease experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, since they will likely be the ones who actually defeat the coronavirus. Listen to them, and the pandemic will be over sooner — at least according to the Harry Potter series.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.