Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States with the ferocity of a world war, people in the pundit class have wondered how it would affect the coming presidential election. Most Democrats sincerely hope that along with the dead patients and the American economy, the pandemic will kill the presidency of Donald Trump.
Juan Williams, the Fox News personality and a contributor to The Hill offered his assessment from the left side of the political spectrum:
“And now he has failed to protect anyone with his faulty response to a pandemic. Local officials in the absence of federal leadership took the lead by shutting down schools, major sports leagues, and Broadway shows. Trump’s primary response has been political spin.”
Williams added, “The reality is that Trump’s failure to protect Americans from the virus is very hard to spin.” As a mouthpiece for the mainstream media left, his position is clear. Trump is to blame for the coronavirus outbreak and needs to be held to account.
Other Democrats, however, are not so sure. David Axelrod, who used to advise President Barack Obama, has opined that a rally around the president uprising will propel Trump to reelection.
Indeed, some of the initial polling, as Juan William gleefully points out, has not been good news for the president. However, the Washington Examiner has discovered that Axelrod is right and that Americans have started to rally around President Trump.
“Approval of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic spiked in the last week. More than half of adults, 55%, approve of the president’s response to the crisis, while 43% do not, according to the results of an ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Friday. The latest rendition of the survey, which was conducted March 18-19, shows a much brighter picture for the president from the one that came out a week earlier. Trump’s approval rating from the March 11-12 poll showed 43% of adults approved of the president’s leadership in combating the spread of the virus; 54% did not.”
Why the sudden turnaround? The Examiner suggests that the daily press briefings in which Trump, while still taking his customary shots at the media, is soberly explaining to the American people the coronavirus situation is starting to have an effect. The fact that the president is surrounding himself with medical professionals and is allowing them to speak without contradiction has only been of help.
Several decisions that the president has recently taken run counter to the Juan Williams narrative of the incompetent leader flailing about to little purpose. As many, including Trump, have pointed out, the early decision to cut off air travel from China seems to have blunted the severity of the pandemic in the United States. A similar decision cutting off air travel from Europe has had a similar effect.
Other decisions, ramping up the production of much needed medical equipment such as ventilators and the expansion of available hospital beds, have been noted by the American people. The recent decision to fast track treatments and vaccines that could have a positive effect on the coronavirus have given Americans hope that a light at the end of the tunnel exists and it is not that of an oncoming train.
Currently, the Congress is wrangling over an economic bailout package that will not only rescue some businesses hardest hit by the pandemic but will put money into the hands of the American people. That extra check or series of checks will be welcomed by Americans, especially those who have found themselves unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to most pundits.
The response of Democratic politicians has been thus far ineffective. PJ Media notes that former Vice President Joe Biden committed plagiarism, and not for the first time, in his plan to combat the pandemic.
“It takes a lot of gall to blast Trump’s response to the coronavirus and then call for the exact same courses of action Trump has taken and try to pass it off as your own plan. Plagiarism is hardly a new thing for Joe Biden, but this example truly takes the cake. Trump’s decisive actions in response to the outbreak saved lives, but Biden cares more about politicizing the issue and, I suppose, assuming credit for coming up with ideas that Trump already put in place.”
Fighting something with nothing is never a good idea in politics. But it takes a particular genius for political folly to fight something with the same something.