It's 2020, and things have changed:
From the Focal Fossa Release Notes:
Python3 by default
In 20.04 LTS, the python included in the base system is Python 3.8. Python 2.7 has been moved to universe and is not included by default in any new installs.
Remaining packages in Ubuntu which require Python 2.7 have been updated to use /usr/bin/python2 as their interpreter, and /usr/bin/python is not present by default on any new installs. etc, etc
Unfortunately, as I have learned, this change in the Ubuntu 20.04LTS distro may not have been done as well as it could. Some applications are apparently not on board with this change, and just won't work without some help.
If you need Python2, you don't have much choice except to install it, and live with the chaos. If you don't need it, there are at least two system-wide solutions that may make your life easier:
$ sudo apt-get install python-is-python3
$ sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/python python /usr/bin/python3 10
update-alternatives: using /usr/bin/python3 to provide /usr/bin/python (python) in auto mode