All Americans should regret that our President was stricken with COVID-19. But the care he received was not what the normal American would get. He was helicoptered into Walter Reid, seen by top specialists and given experimental drugs. For him to say that the common person has nothing to worry about is outrageous. Or to say that 99.9% of children getting COVID just get over it, while failing to mention that 20% of those over 80 die. 

In this election, we must never forget his lack of leadership in failing to fight the current pandemic, causing its devastating spread and the destruction of the health and welfare of many Americans.   

At the start of the pandemic, a poll (ABC/WoPo, 3-25-20) found Biden and Trump essentially tied in the national vote. And, election polling showed Trump running ahead of his challenger in various swing states. Plus, there’s always the “I’m embarrassed to say I support him, but I’ll vote for him anyway” voters that clearly would have given Trump the edge.   

Independents, the key to a November majority, were looking at the positive economy, low unemployment and jobs, Trump’s strong point. So, pre-virus Trump was headed for victory, despite the distaste that the general public felt for him personally. It should be noted that even back then only 15% of the public approved of his conduct and less than half (42%) agreed with him on the issues (Pew Research, 3-5-20).   

Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump was publicly saying: “We have had tremendous success, tremendous success, beyond what people would have thought”; “The United States is rated number one most prepared.” (2-27-20). And his unqualified Washington cronies were just as bad. Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor (2-25-20) “We have contained this. I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.” Chad Wolf of DHS publicly stated to Congress that the death rate for Coronavirus is “similar to seasonal flu”, although it is 10 times higher.   

At the time, I predicted that his words would come back to haunt him. And, as the virus spread, millions became ill, hundreds of thousands died, and the economy collapsed, his lies were exposed. Further, because of Trump’s failure to accept responsibility for fighting COVID-19 via a detailed, coordinated National Pandemic Plan, many of these deaths were preventable.   

Even back in February, many medical authorities, not just Dr. Fauci, disagreed with his approach. Per Time Magazine (3-5-20):   

a. “We have to assume it’s already here and circulating.”- X-FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb;    

b. “Everything we’ve seen indicates this disease will be widespread within weeks, not months.” – Paul Biddinger, Director, Emergency Preparedness Research, Harvard; c. “Quarantines are intended to buy us time. Did we make good use of the time? No – and now we’re hustling,”- Steve Morrison, CSIS global health center; and    

d. “The containment strategy was doomed from the start,” -Jeremy Konyndyk, x-Director USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.   

Objective observers have discovered that what I predicted back in April was accurate. When faced with the biggest national crisis since 9/11, Trump folded. He dumped decision-making onto ill prepared states which don’t have the resources of the Federal government. And then, blamed the Democrats (and China) for the spread.   

Since April, it’s become clear to independents and moderates (and seniors) that Trump is a transactional decision maker who has little regard for the longer-term consequences of his decisions. He cares much more about himself and his family than he does in the American people. His tax records also show that to be true.   

Thus, recent polls from all reputable polling organizations now have Trump substantially behind Biden nationally ,averaging 51% for Biden and 43% for Trump. Even more importantly, Biden leads in the majority of the key swing states, which unfortunately determine the winner of Presidential elections via the undemocratic Electoral College.   

It may not be kind, but it is entirely accurate to state that Trump has brought his election problems on himself via his COVID response. It’s a self-inflicted wound. 

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Image Credit: the feature caricature of Donald Trump was created by DonkeyHotey (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Jack Bernard

Jack Bernard

Jack A Bernard is a retired SVP with a national healthcare corporation. He was Chair of the Jasper County, Ga Board of Commissioners and Republican Party. He was also on the Board of Health for Jasper County and is currently on the Fayette County BOH. Bernard has over 100 columns published annually, primarily in the South.