It ought to go with out saying by now, however the coronavirus is scary and serious — greater than 7 million People have contracted it, and greater than 200,000 of them have died. Most People perceive the gravity of the state of affairs: In a Quinnipiac ballot final month, 70 percent of seemingly voters stated they trusted Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention scientists greater than Trump for info on the coronavirus, and two-thirds of People are both “considerably” or “very” worried that they or somebody they know will contract the virus. However 21 % of Quinnipiac’s respondents — together with 51 % of Republicans — stated they trusted Trump greater than the scientists.
That’s nonetheless lots of people. And what has Trump determined to do with their belief? The president is enjoying with hearth. Certain, this particular tweet might get swallowed up within the madness of the information cycle. However the message that Trump fought off the coronavirus and his followers can, too, has already been amplified by voices starting from Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), who tweeted an edited video of Trump at an expert wrestling match to make that argument, to Fox Information. They’re talking to an enormous base of people that belief and assist Trump. The drumbeat of this flawed argument, mixed with the indicators Trump and his supporters and household ship by their failures to put on masks at official features, provides up, sending combined messages to each his devotees and the broader public and impeding nationwide efforts to combat the virus.
The political dimension of this tweet is much less necessary than its public well being implications. However even taking that into consideration, Trump’s instincts listed here are bafflingly off-base.
Even earlier than Trump blurted out this newest thought, People had been already fed up along with his response to covid-19. In keeping with FiveThirtyEight’s tracker of public opinion on the topic, solely 40 % approve of how Trump has dealt with the virus, and 56 % disapprove. Over the weekend, Ipsos discovered that 65 % of People agreed that “if President Trump had taken coronavirus/COVID-19 extra significantly, he most likely wouldn’t have been contaminated with the coronavirus/COVID-19.” Equally, two-thirds of People imagine Trump dealt with the chance of infecting others irresponsibly, in response to a CNN survey, and virtually 70 % stated they trusted little of what they heard from the White Home.
So Trump’s cavalier angle about his personal an infection seemingly gained’t assist him on this subject. Certain, 69 percent of People assume power is a “essential” private high quality for a president. However 81 percent say taking duty is essential, and 76 % assume competence is a key high quality.
Trump’s newest tweet is emblematic of his broader technique: play down the disaster and hope it blows over. To date, that technique hasn’t labored — from a political or public well being standpoint. This outburst can solely make issues worse.