President Trump has survived through a lot in his presidency: awful gaffes, inaccurate statements, the Russia investigation and subsequent impeachment, and a myriad of other crises and scandals. Nothing has ever been able to take him down, giving him the derisive but accurate nickname Teflon Don.
But that will probably all change with the coronavirus.
The United States had two months to prepare for the coronavirus onslaught that we are now experiencing. Instead of preparing for the pandemic, Trump and his administration told everyone to keep doing things as regular and ignore the medical experts sounding the alarms. Instead of making sure that the US has enough medical equipment and financial assistance in place to weather the storm, Trump was out at campaign rallies calling the epidemic a “hoax.”
On Wednesday, after panic had already set in, Trump addressed the nation regarding the coronavirus and attempted to soothe everyone. But his speech gave little solace to those who are concerned about the continued spread of the illness. On Thursday, Trump announced a national emergency, which helped bolster the stock market, but did little else to quell the spread of coronavirus.
Even before the outbreak began, Trump removed the health advisor position on the National Security Council, severely impacting the ability of the government to foresee and react to the scenario that is now playing out.
And now we are all going to pay for it. Health officials are now worried that coronavirus could potentially infect over 150 million Americans and kill over 1 million people in the United States. Those are not pretty numbers.
Furthermore, the inaction of the Trump administration has set panic upon investors, even with Thursday’s bounce, who have been selling off their stock holdings in a frenzy, wiping out trillions of market value in mere days. Over the past 2 weeks, the market has shed some 30% of its value, destroying many Americans’ retirement portfolios.
In short, the response to the coronavirus by the Trump administration has been incredibly bad. Even as a Trump supporter, I cannot find a single saving grace for the way he and his administration has handled this outbreak. He has shown himself to be far more concerned with patting himself on the back for what he said was an “amazing” response (it has been anything but amazing) than making sure that people who need to be tested receive those tests, hospitals are prepared, and that mitigation policies are enforced.
All of this, if not quickly resolved (it probably won’t be), is almost definitely going to stick with President Trump until the elections in November. Voters are not going to forget that he bungled the government response, that he helped cause panic in the US, and did little to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus on the population.
The attacks from Democrats directed at President Trump might not be able to take him down, but the coronavirus, and his incompetent response to it, just might.