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Will the Coronavirus Defeat Trump’s Reelection?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Until the coronavirus outbreak, most conservatives were pretty confident President Donald Trump would get reelected. The economy was doing great, which is a good sign an incumbent president will win reelection. But the coronavirus may change things. We may end up in a recession. 

Although only 58 people in the U.S. have died from it so far, the country is taking drastic action to reduce the spread of it. The flu kills at least 12,000 people in the U.S. each year, but the coronavirus is 10 times more deadly than the flu.

As a result, the extreme measures are hurting the economy and jobs. People are staying at home and avoiding travel and entertainment. Schools are shutting down. Retirees are losing their investments in stocks. Everyone has been affected to some extent. People panicking and overloading on supplies from grocery stores are making life difficult for others who can’t get the essentials like toilet paper. 

And there’s no end in sight. Some experts predict two months, but they could be overly optimistic. Two months is a long time regardless for misery.

Trump didn’t cause the coronavirus. But he is being blamed for everything in regards to handling it. He’s done an excellent job despite the naysaying from Democrats and the mainstream media. He’s taking drastic action.

Cutting off travel from China was the right thing to do. But Trump was accused of being racist. Then after he did it, they criticized him for not doing it fast enough. But Barack Obama moved far slower than Trump dealing with the swine flu. 

And then when Europe became a hotbed for the virus, as new cases in China dwindled, Trump cut off travel from there. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says 70% of the new cases of the virus are coming from Europe.

Newt Gingrich, who is currently living in Italy, observed, “When you realize that the current 1,016 deaths in Italy with a population of 60 million would be the equivalent of 5,400 deaths in the United States instead of the 41 deaths we have had so far, you can see what milder, slower and less aggressive responses might have cost in lives.”

Conservative columnist Rachel Marsden described the aggressive steps Russia has taken, which are working there. The country put up “barriers, closing its border with coronavirus hotbed China in late January, banning high-risk flights, maintaining strict screening at border checkpoints and placing Russian expats evacuated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in quarantine for three weeks — in Siberia.” As a result, there have been only 17 reported cases of coronavirus, despite 51,000 reported tests. 

Joe Biden attacked Trump’s handling of the crisis, then turned around and plagiarized Trump’s plan. This comes as no surprise, since Biden has a history of plagiarism. Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for the Trump campaign, said Biden raised the “vile conspiracy theory that the President purposely allowed the coronavirus to spread.” This is dishonest considering how aggressively Trump has moved to prevent that.

Same with falsely accusing Trump of calling the crisis a hoax and not treating it seriously. What he actually said was a criticism of the “politicizing” of the coronavirus by Democrats as “their new hoax.” 

Trump’s critics fault him no matter what action he takes. Jon Gabriel, the conservative editor of Ricochet, points out how the left criticized Trump for not getting tested for coronavirus right away. But after he got the test, they complained about why he was able to access the test before other people. 

Trump’s speeches are criticized for either being too ominous or not worried enough, no matter how carefully he tries to walk that fine line between the two approaches. 

Mike Huckabee observed, “So … how has the other side responded? You know, the people with such high standards of ‘character’ for others? Thus far, they have relentlessly attacked, mocked, criticized, second-guessed and undermined everything Trump has tried to do.”

If the crisis is averted after a couple of months, they’ll say Trump didn’t stop it fast enough. No matter how many people die, even if a small number, they will say it could have been smaller. Trump can’t win. When it’s all over, the Democrats will claim everything Trump did was wrong. 

These vicious attacks are in contrast to previous outbreaks. The actor James Woods observed, “I remember the H1N1 and SARS epidemics. Everyone supported our president then. There was no hysteria and the doomsayers kept their mouths shut. Thousands of people died and yet the press supported the astonishingly tepid response by the leaders of the time. Why the hysteria now?” 

What’s sad is liberal networks like CNN and MSNBC are so focused on nitpicking Trump that they are squandering time that could be spent giving people important information about the outbreak. 

All the people significantly affected by this crisis — especially those losing working hours — may hold it against Trump. The Democrats will of course say the job interruptions could have been avoided. And if Trump had started to contain the virus faster, we wouldn’t have had to avoid public places and businesses.

What it’s going to come down to is will Americans believe the Democrats and mainstream media and fault Trump for much of the epidemic, or will they see through the lies and realize he did an excellent job addressing it? It’s going to be an uphill battle as the Democrats and media act as an echo chamber for each other. Trump is going to be in the fight of his life. 

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