Sunday, March 1, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He used a nearly month-old poll to say he was doing a good job with a crisis happening now.

The Trump campaign is increasingly worried about the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic on Trump's re-election chances. Even his own son, Donald Trump Jr., has been telling confidants he's worried Trump will "screw up" the response to the outbreak.

Trump's statements in the past week have been mostly self-congratulatory. Almost all of his nearly hour-long press conference on Wednesday was devoted to explaining how well he personally was handling things. Today, Trump tweeted this claim:

No such poll was cited in the online version of the New York Post today. There is a poll with those numbers, however: a Gallup poll with responses between February 3-16. 

Among the developments since then:

In other words, Trump is saying that because Americans trusted him before there was widespread concern and things started going terribly wrong, they must trust him now.

Why should I care about this?

  • In a crisis, a president is supposed to do what is best for the country, not worry about his personal popularity.