“If we didn’t do our job, it would be three and a half, two and a half, maybe three million people” dead, the president justified himself.
When the coronavirus pandemic began to hit the United States in March, President Donald Trump laid out his expectations.
If the U.S. could keep the death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 people, Trump said, that would indicate that his administration has “done a very good job.”
In the next few days, the death toll in the U.S. is set to remove the upper band of the president’s projections: 200.000, according to the official count, although the real number is certainly higher. The virus continues to spread and there is currently no approved vaccine. Some public health experts fear infections will skyrocket this Nordic fall and winter, perhaps even doubling the number of deaths by the end of the year.
Yet neither that grim milestone nor the prospect of more American deaths have made the president rethink handling the pandemic and openly express your regret. Instead, Trump has tried to re-signify the importance of the death toll, trying to turn the loss of 200,000 Americans into a success story by arguing that the numbers could have been even higher without his administration’s actions.
“If we didn’t do our job, it would be three and a half, two and a half, maybe three million persons, “Trump said on Friday, leaning on extreme projections of what might have happened if nothing at all were done to fight the pandemic.” We have done a phenomenal job on COVID-19. “Your re-election prospects will depend in part if there are enough voters who agree with that assessment. The problem that Trump faces to substantiate his argument, just over six weeks before the Nov. 3 election and with voting already underway in some states, is Clear.
Only 39% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the pandemic, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. About a quarter of Republicans say they don’t approve of Trump’s handling of the public health crisis, although overall support for the president among voters of that political orientation stands at a comfortable 84%.
There is also little doubt that the death toll in the U.S. has soared above of which Trump repeatedly assured the public it was going to be. In February, when the first cases of coronavirus were detected in the country, the president said that in a few days the numbers would drop “to almost zero.” In early April, when US officials estimated that at least 100,000 people would die from the pandemic, even if every imaginable action was taken against it, Trump hinted that the numbers would be lower, noting: “I think we’re doing better than that. “
In recent days he changed again by arguing that the United States is still a successful case because some models showed that the nation could have 240,000 deaths, a threshold that seems likely to be eclipse by the end of the year.
Keenly aware of his loose position with voters on the pandemic, Trump has spent the past few weeks trying to reorient his career against Democrat Joe Biden. towards other topicsAmong them the promise to white suburban voters that it would prevent crime in the more liberal cities from invading their neighborhoods.
Now Trump will campaign in particular over the courts, given the death on Friday of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, seeking to lure back Republican voters who may have turned against him during the pandemic, promising to that there are more conservatives in the Supreme Court.
Although the Supreme Court vacancy significantly affects the race for the White House, Biden still wants to keep much of the focus on the coronavirus. Over the summer in the US he reinforced his position by hammering out what he calls the failures of the Trump administration to face the threat of the virus seriously and provide coherent guidelines to the people; among others, indications about the efficiency of use of face masks.
After the revelations appeared in a new book by the journalist Bob Woodward According to which Trump intentionally downplayed the severity of the virus earlier this year, Biden said of the responsibilities of a president: “You have to be honest with the American people, speak bluntly“and added” There has never been a moment in which I have not been able to overcome. “
Trump insisted he was not minimizing the severity of the virus when he compared it to seasonal flu and it underestimated public health officials who were pushing for more rigorous containment efforts. Yet he has repeatedly violated his own administration’s safety directives, rarely wearing a mask, and running large campaign rallies with little sign of social distancing from his crowd.
With the death toll continuing to rise, Trump has repeatedly missed opportunities to serve as a unifying force for communities and families suffering the loss of loved ones. Instead, it has effectively ignored the deaths of Americans living in Democratic-leaning states, implying that it has little responsibility for welfare of those who do not support him politically.
“If we remove the blue states (Democrats), we’re at a level where I don’t think anyone in the world is, “he declared last week about the death toll.” Some of the states were Democratic states and with Democratic state administration. “
It was a shocking statement for an American president, but according to its handling of the pandemic and his presidency. Trump has long taken a transactional approach to his post, spending the first weeks of the pandemic fighting with Democratic governors of the worst-hit states, challenging them to lift restrictions he deemed detrimental to the robust economy he hoped to shift to a second. mandate.