CoronaVirus disease (COVID 19) is causing a global pandemic. News headlines report the latest facts and figures on cases, testing, mortality, and potential treatments. Mayors, Governors, and even the President are providing daily televised updates to the public.
President Trump has put together a team of advisors to deal with the CoronaVirus crisis to monitor, prevent, contain, and mitigate the spread of CoronaVirus disease spearheaded by Vice President Mike Pence. During his press conferences, although the President seeks to project authority, he has been known to go off-topic, to be very self -congratulatory and to mock his political rivals. But, Trump’s daily press conferences usually include statements from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has become what some would call “The US’s most trusted voice on coronavirus.” Dr. Fauci has a long history of achievements. He became the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in 1968 and has advised 5 presidents on how to deal with the HIV/AIDS crisis. Because of Dr. Fauci’s experience dealing with infectious disease for 30+ years, he has become an admired & trusted figure. The public is heeding his advice which has the support of the medical community.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, 65 % of Americans feel Trump responded too slowly to the CoronaVirus. The division is partisan. Republicans tend to agree with Trump’s claim that he acted, “way too early” in response to the threat of the virus. Yet, 92 % of Democrats feel Trump should have acted faster. His response to closing the borders is hotly debated. Many are critical of the administration for disbanding the pandemic response team in 2018 and making cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.
According to Jen Kates, Senior VP and Director of Global Health at the Kaiser Family Foundation, “The US… was not prepared. A good preparedness plan would have helped address this.”
According to Fivethirtyeight, Americans are divided in half on their beliefs if President Trump is handling the coronavirus crisis properly. (49.5% of people disapprove of his response, while 46.5% of people approve). Trump’s supporters are likely those keen on his response, while Trump’s opposition feels he didn’t act soon enough and feel he is only concerned with improving his chances for re-election.
RealClearPolitics also found Trump’s approval rating to be at 46%. Although New York has been a hot spot for the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating for dealing with the crisis is at 87% in a Siena College Research poll while only 41% approve of Trump’s handling of the crisis. What polls indicate, is a declining view of the White House’s response to the virus.
At this point in time, government officials are saying that we are getting close to a possible flattening of the curve of new CoronaVirus cases in parts of the United States. Although many people are anxious to get the economy churning, to do so too soon, would have dangerous consequences.
In what some are calling a strategic move, Trump has emphasized that state governments will determine when to reopen. Social distancing recommendations and wearing masks continue to be the current recommendation in New York. As many as 66% of Americans are fearful state governments will lift social distancing requirements too soon, according to a Pew study.
However, the longer we take to comply with the requests of our country, the longer we will have to wait to go back to living our normal lives. The President’s reelection bid will most definitely hinge on how well people perceive he handled this crisis and how much the economy can bounce back.