Trump Vs. COVID19. The president has long played down the pandemic. He has the best security in the world, and yet he and the First Lady tested positive for the virus. How will this affect the election, the re-opening of the economy, or the public’s fears? Dr. Bart Rossi discusses with Wink News.
In the winter of 2019, President Trump was briefed on a virus outbreak in China. No one really knew what it was or how severe it would be. President Trump, the World Health Organization, and medical experts all had to partake in a learning curve.
President Trump restricted some passengers coming to the U.S. from China, although 10 of thousands still arrived here. There were 33 other countries that had imposed restrictions (some outrights bans) on Chinese travelers on or before the day our restrictions took effect.
However, while other countries quickly moved to follow W.H.O. guidelines in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, for President Trump it was Trump Vs. COVID19. He seemed content to rely solely on the travel restrictions (he later restriction E.U countries) to keep the U.S. safe.
All the while he kept assuring Americans that the virus is under control; that Democrats are politizing the virus; that it was fully under control because he was doing a great job; it might disappear in the warm weather; that the economy would be re-opened by Easter Sunday, and that people should follow guidelines, although during his rallies he refused to follow those guidelines.
At every turn, he seemed to advocate actions that would worsen the spread of the virus. For example, he supported protesters that stormed state capitals because they didn’t want to adhere to stay-home orders. For most of the first six months, he refused to wear a mask: unsurprisingly, his supporters followed suit, refusing as well, and his ally Governor’s refused to mandate statewide masks.
In a blockbuster audio interview that Bob Woodward had with President Trump for his new book ‘Rage’ in February, it was clear what the president knew at that time. By his own account, he knew that coronavirus.
- Was deadly.
- That it had a much higher percentage of mortality than the flu.
- That it was possibly airborne.
Yet he and his media and political allies continued to tell the American people that it was like the flu. Rush Limbaugh, who Trump awarded the Freedom Award, the highest award a citizen could be given, said on his radio show it was nothing more than the common cold, and Trump’s ‘enemies’ were creating a fake hysteria around COVID19. Sean Hannity too commented that Democrats and the ‘media mob’ “would have you believe the sky is falling in an attempt to hurt the president.”
In early spring the Trump media allies were pushing for re-opening, claiming Florida and Texas got it right, New York was a disaster. As we all know now, by July Florida and Texas were among the worst states with the highest case and death counts.
Words like ‘hoax’ were often thrown around by Trump allies to describe the pandemic. When it became apparent that the pandemic was real and not a hoax, they shifted their narrative to convince people that they always treated it as a serious virus, and it was the opposition that didn’t.
Coronavirus has been a source of anxiety surrounding the 2020 election cycle all along. People throughout the country were dealing with stress, more so as back to school became the new talking points.
With all the security and screening procedures to protect the president, it was then a bombshell when the announcement came that President Trump and First Lady Melania tested positive for coronavirus.
The question now, 30-odd days from election day, is how will this impact the election, if at all? Now Trump Vs. COVID19 impacts his own health. And with a number of states, many of which who ignored guidelines, seeing a resurgence of cases and deaths, can the country re-open the economy?
Trump Vs. COVID19
Political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi joins Wink News via Skype to discuss these and other questions.