Donald Trump’s three year tenure as president of the US has been an eventful one. Out of the many challenges he’s faced thus far however, the coronavirus outbreak is without a doubt his biggest one. With 400,549 Americans testing positive, 12,857 deaths and over 700,000 Americans losing their job since March, you can understand why.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly put a wrench in Donald Trump’s plans for 2020. You see, 2020 happens to be an election year, so you can imagine how important it is to Trump. If you need any evidence of just how long he’s been preparing for 2020, look no further than the fact that he started his reelection campaign unusually early for an incumbent president.
Trump took office on January 20th 2017. He officially filed for his reelection campaign with the Federal Election Commission on the very same day and began spending for his reelection effort within weeks of that. He’s had one eye on his reelection campaign for years and just as it was starting to pick up, the coronavirus outbreak happened.
Enter his daily coronavirus press briefings. At first, it seemed like a good move. It’s important to keep the American public up to date on what’s going on with the outbreak. That being said however, his briefings have gone sideways and quickly in recent days.
His daily briefings are supposed to be putting the minds of the million Americans watching at rest, but his tendency to politicise the issue is really starting to make him look like a complete and utter moron. From blaming Democratic governors over scarce supplies to igniting cultural clashes by calling the virus the “Chinese virus”, it just doesn’t seem to end.
Add to this his snappy behaviour towards journalists who ask him questions that people actually want to know and you have a picture of a very aggrieved man who doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing. While he does all this, his message to the American people remains the same, that they have the outbreak under control.
Trump doesn’t even have his administration under control. Kayleigh McEnany, the new White House press secretary went on TV recently to say that thanks to the president, “we will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here.”
Larry Kudlow, the presidents top economic adviser came out and said that the program to rescue small businesses in America struggled to register funds and as such, was off to “a bad start”. The president however, celebrated the programs roaring success and even went as far as to credit his daughter Ivanka with personally creating 15 million jobs.
With each passing day, the purpose of these daily briefings become increasingly clear. It’s not to put the minds of Americans at ease, but to cement his image of a wartime leader. It doesn’t matter what he says really, Trump is making himself inescapable by going on live TV every single day.
What the millions of Americans at home see is a president who’s facing down an “invisible enemy” at a dark moment for the country, whilst constantly insisting that America is on top of the outbreak. His focus is clearly on convincing voters that he led a “dauntless” effort to keep them alive. The fact is, he didn’t. Here’s to hoping that people see through this facade.