Donald Trump the corona trivializer has become Donald Trump the corona fighter. He understood: This crisis will define his first term as US President – and will determine whether the Americans will elect him to the White House again in the fall.
Trump’s opponent in this election is most likely Joe Biden. He is the only one from the Democratic camp that Trump really fears. Biden stands for traits that Americans (and not just those) want from their leader in difficult times: integrity, overview, empathy.
And Trump? Under the pressure of events, he now presents himself as the top medicine man in his nation. The only question is whether he is doing the nation a favor. He is a regular guest at the daily briefings of the Corona Task Force, which is actually headed by his Vice President Mike Pence. In these briefings, which all Americans can watch live on television, Trump is making a remarkable series of inconsistencies and false promises.
He announced that a US Navy hospital ship was “in top condition and ready to sail” towards New York City to treat corona sufferers. His defense minister later admitted that the ship is currently being overhauled and can only set sail in early April.
On another occasion, Trump praised the combination of a malaria drug and an antibiotic as an effective corona cure. What a medical doctor promptly collected from his task force: So far, there is no evidence of effectiveness.
Trump’s narcissism is in his way
Meanwhile, many doctors in the United States complain about too few protective masks. Trump and Pence repeatedly promised that “huge amounts” of it were on the way. But when asked when they would arrive in the hospitals, Trump snapped: The government was not a shipping clerk, not a shipping clerk. It is always Trump’s narcissism that stands in the way of him and his team in the corona crisis.
The fight against the economic consequences of the crisis shows that it works better if the President does not get involved too much: Congress has already passed two Corona aid packages. The third, worth over a trillion euros, is due to arrive this week.
The faction leaders in the Senate and the House of Representatives are in charge, the main point of contact in the government is Finance Minister Steven Mnuchin. This is probably the best service Trump can do to his country in the corona crisis: just stay out of it.
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