In this time of unprecedented medical danger and economic uncertainty, Americans are rallying behind our country and our leader, President Trump.
Every community in America has been hurt by this viral outbreak from China, and every community in America is making significant sacrifices to ensure that as few of our fellow citizens as possible perish in this pandemic. Americans’ worry is illustrated in a new ABC News poll, which shows that 79 percent of Americans are concerned about the virus.
The same poll, however, shows another key fact about the state of the nation: a healthy majority of Americans — 55 percent — approve of President Trump’s handling of the war against COVID-19. That figure includes 30 percent of self-identified Democrats, a group that’s hardly backed the president on anything over the last three years.
Gallup, perhaps the most respected polling organization in the country, shows even stronger support for the administration —60 percent.
A Hill/HarrisX poll corroborates Gallup’s figure, with 61 percent of respondents agreeing that the president is taking appropriate measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 — including 57 percent of independent voters and, even more remarkably, 41 percent of Democrats.
The only group still firmly convinced that the administration’s response is poor is the press. Journalists continue to badger the president over what is and is not “racist” about accurately describing the coronavirus as Chinese, just weeks after they were made to look like fools for their opposition to President Trump’s restrictions on travel from China. Meanwhile, they publish “analyses” bashing the president for offering Americans hope.
Even the president’s invocation of the Defense Production Act hasn’t satisfied many reporters, who waste their questions at press briefings demanding to know why the president hasn’t completely nationalized the economy. Could they be showing their true far-left leanings?
The polling shows that Americans by and large see through this noise. The reality is that President Trump has thrown himself fully into the role of a wartime leader against what he calls the “invisible enemy” of the coronavirus. He is working closely with state and local leaders, Republicans and Democrats alike, to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken and that adequate medical supplies are available. For their part, governors around the country are taking the president’s lead and putting politics aside.
At his daily press conferences, President Trump and his team highlight the gargantuan efforts underway to test for, isolate, and treat COVID-19. Those announcements, however, only begin to scratch the surface of how much is happening within the executive branch to keep the American people healthy.
In his role as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the president is actually helping facilitate a military response to this enemy, as well. The Air Force, for example, just flew about one million testing kits from Italy to the United States, working with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, and FedEx to get the tests where they need to be — on the front lines as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to help convert empty hotels, doctor’s offices, college dorms, and other facilities into temporary hospitals for COVID patients.
Private industry is, of course, already playing a major role in testing for the coronavirus. That role is going to increase mightily as companies shift their resources toward the production of life-saving medical equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment.
In a key example, the Trump administration worked with General Motors to pave the way for the company to build new ventilators so that no doctor in America has to make the kind of gut-wrenching choice their counterparts in Italy are already making about who will be treated and who will be left to die.
The American people recognize the gravity of the situation and of the war being waged against COVID-19. The polling shows that Americans also widely recognize that President Trump is rising to meet this unprecedented challenge.
Boris Epshteyn is a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board and formerly served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.